Turkey and United States trade new threats in detained pastor row

18 August, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Turkish lira firms before minister's presentation

Turkey and the United States exchanged new threats of sanctions Friday, keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis that is threatening the economic stability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country as a Turkish court rejected the appeal of an American pastor caught in the middle of the row. Investors, already anxious about Turkey's economy, were irked by a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States over the continued detention of an American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, had rebounded slightly over the last three days but on Friday it lost over five percent of its value around 1250 GMT.

U.S. Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin earlier said the U.S. could put more sanctions on Turkey. "They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage", he wrote.

"He's in a terribly risky situation because the Brunsons are portrayed in the Turkish press as people who are against the state of Turkey", she told CBN News.

Unfortunately, our words have fallen on deaf ears, and American weapons ended up being used to target civilians and members of our security forces in Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that solving the rift with the USA is not hard.

Qatar has promised to make a Dollars 15 billion direct investment in Turkey, badly hit by a currency crisis amid a widening diplomatic standoff with the United States, officials said.


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

He has denied the charges, and his case has been taken up by U.S. President Donald Trump, who counts evangelical Christians among his core supporters.

Erdogan also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, a day after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a $15 billion pledge of support from Qatar.

Mr Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, said the country's banks were healthy and strong and the nation would not be turning to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

The U.S. recently slapped financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey over the pastor's continued detention, causing economic upheaval in Turkey.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in its note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion.

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