Turkey's president says to challenge "games" on economy

19 August, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Resurgent dollar sends commodities reeling again

The Turkish lira weakened to 5.86 against the dollar on Friday from its previous close of 5.8150 as investors weighed up a United States warning that Turkey should expect more economic sanctions unless it hands over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Brunson, 50, was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.

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

Last week, US President Donald Trump said he had doubled the tariffs on aluminium and steel from Turkey, prompting Ankara to sharply increase tariffs on several US products.

"There was considerable risk aversion through the early part of the week with fears of Turkish contagion weighing on risk assets and that seems to have reversed somewhat here", said Karl Schamotta, a strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

"Some are threatening us with economy, sanctions, exchange rates, interests and inflation".

Turkey on Friday threatened to respond in kind if Washington imposed further sanctions over the detention of an American pastor which has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency. It upheld a lower court's decision against the lifting of a travel ban on Brunson.


A decree by Mr Erdogan doubled Turkish tariffs on imports of U.S. passenger cars to 120 per cent, alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and leaf tobacco to 60 per cent. Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

The Turkish president emphasized Turkey's determination to eliminate all threats from Syria and Iraq.

The collapse of the currency has been blamed both on the tensions with the United States and Erdogan's increasing hold on Turkey's economy and his refusal to allow the central bank to raise interest rates. Turkey's dollar bonds fell, while the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish debt rose.

"They have invested a lot of pressure into the release of Brunson, given the importance of the midterm elections in the US". At the congress, President Erdogan was re-elected as head of the party. 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 is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released".

Turkey, in turn, criticized the prosecution in the USA of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top official at Turkey's state-controlled Halkbank who was convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions.

The Turkish lira has plunged to record lows in recent weeks over an unprecedented spat with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States over the detention of an American clergyman, Andrew Brunson, charged with espionage and terrorism.

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