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Turkish courts release detainees but reject U.S. pastor's appeal

16 August, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Sara Gill

Last Friday, US President Donald Trump said he had authorized higher tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey.

The duties were raised in response to the USA administration's "deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

Still, analysts expect the currency crisis to persist or even worsen, and the feud with the United States simmered as a Turkish court rejected an appeal for the release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

What are the new sanctions?

President Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey was taking measures to stabilise its economy and should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

The tariff increases amount to a doubling of the existing rate, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, in an apparent parallel response to Trump´s move.

Analysts question the effectiveness of any Turkish boycott of USA goods and view Turkey's tit-for-tat taxes - imposed Wednesday on American exports, including cars, tobacco and alcohol - as mostly symbolic because they have relatively little value to a global trade giant engaged in similar disputes with China and other major economies.

American automobiles will now be subject to a tariff of 120%, while alcohol will have a 140% tariff rate.

The rebound in the Turkish currency to stronger than 6.0 against the US dollar was driven by a banking watchdog's step to limit swap transactions and by hopes of improved relations with the European Union.

Turkey, which has a military base in Qatar, rushed through supplies to the Gulf state after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed the boycott.

WASHINGTON - The White House warned on Wednesday that Turkey is increasingly trending away from U.S. interests, furious over the continued detention and trial of an American pastor in Ankara.

Russia backs using national currencies, not the USA dollar, in its trade with Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, but he made no firm commitments that would immediately help Ankara to weather its currency crisis.

Although the Turkish lira recovered modestly today, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced today a boycott of America's iPhone manufactured by Apple and other unspecified electronic products.

Underscoring the ties between the countries, Sheikh Tamim was the first foreign leader to phone President Erdogan during the failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

The lira had rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure worldwide investors. On Tuesday, he claimed that a "global campaign led by the Trump administration", was behind Turkey's economic woes. On Wednesday, a Turkish court in the Aegean province of Izmir, where Mr. Brunson is on trial, rejected the pastor's appeal to be released from house arrest.

Ever-increasing USA sanctions against Russian Federation could make this more convenient, as access to U.S. dollars on the global foreign currency markets isn't always convenient.

Erdogan has blamed the US for the fall of the lira, but refused to budge on Trump's demand for Brunson's release.

It chose to release two Greek soldiers from prison on Tuesday.



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