Pastor Brunson appeal for house arrest release rejected by Turkish court

18 August, 2018, 18:26 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • The End of the United States Turkey Alliance

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Mr Trump at a cabinet meeting on Thursday that sanctions were ready to be put in place if Mr Brunson were not freed.

The Turkish lira stood at 5.80 per dollar on Friday, up about 0.4 percent against the dollar.

The currency collapsed to record lows on Monday as relations between the two countries soured and fears mounted that government inaction over rampant inflation will spark an economic crisis.

Turkey on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further sanctions over the detention of an American pastor, which has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency. He called Brunson "a great patriot hostage.". "We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!" he tweeted.

Rattled markets ended a rollercoaster week on the back foot after the Turkish lira's recovery suffered a setback with tensions mounting with the US.

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 White House has said there could be more economic measures against Turkey if Brunson is not released.

"There has been no improvement in relations with the U.S. and additional sanctions may be on the horizon", said William Jackson of Capital Economics in a note to clients, adding that the lira could see a downward trend in 2019 and beyond.

Brunson, an Evangelical pastor residing in the coastal province of Izmir, is standing trial in Turkey over terrorism charges.

U.S. seeks to stab Turkey in the back: Turkey's president - USA
This difference between import and export of goods and services has been filled through external borrowing in foreign currency. But the bank did not increase interest rates, which would help contain inflation while supporting the lira.

Qatar defied US President Donald Trump on Wednesday and promised to plough $15 billion into Turkish financial markets and banks.

Washington has already placed a series of sanctions against Turkey, including last week's announcement of a doubling of tariffs on metal imports into the United States from Turkey.

"So, we haven't seen the last of that".

Obviously this raises the stakes of the U.S. imposing more sanctions.

Turkey has repeatedly said the presence of terror forces near its border constitutes a threat and has launched military operations and other efforts to rid the region of terrorists.

While Turkey's economy is fairly unimportant globally, the country itself holds an important strategic position as a buffer zone between the West and the Middle East, and as such has outsized influence in foreign policy circles.

However, it is not just Turkey that has something to lose in this crisis.

"Qatar and Turkey have a mutual stance on many subjects regarding humanitarian and political issues".

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