U.S. threatens more Turkey sanctions if pastor not freed

17 Août, 2018, 13:31 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Turkey increases tariffs on some U.S. goods escalating feud

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned Thursday the United States would levy more sanctions on the troubled Turkish economy if Ankara does not soon release a jailed American pastor.

The U.S. economy is 25 times larger than Turkey's, based on nominal GDP.

The currency has lost almost 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

Qatar will make $15 billion of direct investment in Turkey, Qatar's leader said on a visit to Ankara on Wednesday, said Turkey's presidential spokesman.

Albayrak said there would be no concessions on fiscal discipline and said, "We are targeting lowering inflation into the single digits as soon as possible".

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey previous year, accounting for US$12 billion, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports over the continued detention of an American pastor on espionage and terror-related charges.

Gold prices in line with the emerging market currencies rout, triggered by Turkey's Lira and China's economic woes, reduced to its over 19-month low price levels. Sanders lamented that Turkey had treated Brunson, "who we know to be a very good person and a strong Christian who has done nothing wrong, very unfairly, very badly".

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The report comes after U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday during a Cabinet meeting at the White House that Turkey "hasn't turned out to be a great friend".

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies are at an impasse regarding the detention of an American pastor, differing views on Syria, and Turkey's purchase of Russian military equipment.

The currency had rebounded some 6 percent on Wednesday after the central bank squeezed lira liquidity in the market, effectively pushing up rates and supporting the currency.

Turkey's biggest mobile phone importing companies have cancelled their iPhone orders as Turkish citizens join a move to boycott USA products.

Brunson is under house arrest after spending almost two years in a Turkish prison under what the Trump administration has said are bogus allegations of aiding terrorists.

Mr Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros.

Turkey says the case is a matter for the courts.

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