Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Economy | By

U.S. threatens more sanctions on Turkey over detained pastor

U.S. threatens more sanctions on Turkey over detained pastor

"Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years, " Trump tweeted.

Moody's stripped Turkey of its investment-grade rating in 2016 and Friday's move lowered it one rung further. Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants to lower borrowing costs despite high inflation.

Moody's says its negative outlook reflects its expectation that there's more financial stress likely on the horizon for Turkey.

A Turkish court in western Turkey's Izmir province on Friday rejected a third appeal for terror-linked USA pastor Andrew Craig Brunson's release.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet US representatives, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that talks will take place in Washington on August 21 and 22.

The United States and Turkey have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs in an escalating attempt by Trump to induce Erdogan into giving up the pastor. "They can't take our people".

According to the Middle East Eye, officials in Ankara are willing to concede to U.S. demands for the freedom of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical preacher accused of playing a role in the attempted coup there in 2016.

The row is likely to escalate in the coming days after a court in the Turkish city of Izmir chose to reject an appeal for release by Mr Brunson.

The 3rd High Criminal Court in Izmir ordered the continuation of Brunson's house arrest and ban on leaving the country.

Turkey's lira fell once again after the trade minister, Ruhsar Pekcan, said Friday that her government would respond to any new trade duties, which US President Donald Trump threatened in an overnight tweet.

Another steep decline in the Turkish lira on Friday pushed emerging market equities lower and kept other world markets cautious, overshadowing hopes that an upcoming U.S.

The lira has clawed back some ground over the last two days - after losing nearly a quarter of its value on Friday and Monday - but economists are warning that Turkey must urgently address its economic imbalances to avoid more trouble.

The Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilise the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions. The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been at loggerheads for months over a host of diplomatic issues, namely Turkey's refusal to release an American pastor and differences over their handling of the Syrian conflict.

"The Brunson case is a rallying call for evangelicals within the Republican base because you have a Christian pastor being held in a Muslim-majority country", Amanda Sloat of Brookings Institution told the newspaper.

On Wednesday, the White House said the USA will lift the embargo against Turkey if Brunson is freed, but stressed that the increased tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum will remain as they are not connected to the pastor, but are a matter of "national interest".

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