Turkish lira weakens to 5.86, USA warns of more sanctions

Marco Green
August 18, 2018

On Friday, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan warned that Ankara would not succumb to new threats from Washington.

Erdogan has in turn imposed sanctions on United States goods.

On Friday, the Turkish lira TRY= snapped a three-day rebound, sliding more than 5 percent against the dollar on worries about the threat of more American economic sanctions unless Turkey hands over detained USA evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

While Evangelists in the United States consider Trump's efforts to release Brunson as support for religious freedom, the article argued Trump was trying to use this issue to secure success during the November 7 midterm elections.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Trump on Thursday (August 16) that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had put sanctions on several Turkish ministers and "have more [they] are planning to do" if Brunson isn't released soon.

Turkey responded by increasing tariffs on imports from the USA including cars, alcoholic drinks and leaf tobacco - and the lira recovered slightly.

Talking about Brunson at the White House, Trump said that "we are not going to take it sitting down".

"Turkey's been a problem for a long time", Trump told reporters as he departed the White House on Friday for a fundraiser in NY.

The court ruling comes amid a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the United States that has seen tariffs from both sides pile up and an exchange of threats of further sanctions.

"They should have given him back a long time ago, and Turkey has in my opinion acted very, very badly, so we haven't seen the last of that". "They can't take our people".

Brunson is charged with spying for the PKK - a designated terrorist group in the U.S. and Turkey - and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey during which 251 people died and thousands were injured.

"They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our country as a great patriot hostage.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was detained in 2016 after a government crackdown following a failed coup attempt. Mr Gulen denies the allegation. Mr Trump tweeted last week.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Yi said China believes that Turkey has the "ability to overcome temporary economic difficulties", according to a translated statement placed on the ministry's website Friday.

Any optimism that the most serious row between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for decades might ease has been blown out of the water.

Mr Erdogan is angry that the U.S. has not taken more action against the Gulenist movement and what he said was a failure "to unequivocally condemn" the 2016 coup attempt.

He ruled out any move to limit money flows - which is a possibility that worries investors - or any assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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