Turkish Court Again Rejects Appeal To Release U.S. Pastor

18 August, 2018, 18:44 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • The Latest: Turkey court rejects release of US pastor | Miami Herald

ISTANBUL-Turkey's battered lira weakened 4 percent on August 17 after a Turkish court rejected an American pastor's appeal for release, drawing a stiff rebuke from President Donald Trump who said the United States would not take his detention "sitting down".

"We have responded to the measures the United States has taken, and will continue to do so based on our worldwide trade law rights and in accordance to World Trade Organization rules", said the minister, Ruhsar Pekcan. On Tuesday, Erdogan called for a boycott of USA electronics products, and his spokesperson described American policy as goading Turkey into an "economic war".

On August 11, Trump said he had doubled import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, sending the Turkish lira into a tailspin and prompting Ankara to impose countersanctions on some US products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal, and cosmetics.

In currency markets, the dollar index .DXY fell 0.06 percent, while the euro was up 0.19 percent to $1.1365 after closing Wednesday at its lowest point since July 2017. Washington has introduced sanctions against members of the Turkish government, citing the case and insisting that the pastor is innocent.

Then last week, Trump increased them again, this time to 50 percent on Turkish steel and 20 percent on Turkish aluminum.

"There has been no sign that the central bank will be allowed to raise interest rates significantly and return rates to positive territory", said William Jackson of Capital Economics in a note to clients.

Turkey and the U.S. have exchanged new threats of sanctions, keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis threatening the economic stability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country.

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.

Escalating tensions on trade between the United States and some of its largest trading partners had driven traders to sell emerging market currencies and take to the safety of the US currency. "We are two great countries that need have good relations but we will learn to respect each other", Cavusoglu added.

Albayrak spoke Thursday with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz and they agreed to "take steps in order to reinforce economic cooperation", Albayrak's office said. "That's politics", he said.

Standard & Poor's is scheduled to release a review of Turkey's sovereign credit rating late on Friday.

Economists gave Albayrak's presentation a qualified welcome and the lira initially found some support, helped by Qatar's pledge to invest $15 billion in Turkey.

It said: "The downgrade reflects our expectation that the extreme volatility of the Turkish lira and the resulting projected sharp balance of payments adjustment will undermine Turkey's economy".

But he suggested Turkish "policymakers only really seem to have done the minimum needed".

Pastor Andrew Brunson was swept up in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in 2016.

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