Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Turkish court rejects release appeal of American Pastor

Turkish Lira sell-off wreaks havoc with global currency markets US pastor in Turkey appeals for release, end to travel ban -lawyer
Lindsey Cook | 18 August, 2018, 18:24

On Friday, Turkey's battered lira weakened 3 percent 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 the detention "sitting down".

U.S. Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin earlier said the U.S. could put more sanctions on Turkey.

President Trump says American Pastor Andrew Brunson is being held on a "phony charge" and should have been returned to the U.S.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said.

"They have a great Christian pastor there".

Christian evangelicals constitute an important part of Trump's political base.

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesperson for the Turkish presidency, tweeted: "Qatar has pledged $15 billion of direct investments in Turkey".

Tweeting later on Friday, Le Maire said, "Constructive talks with my Turkish counterpart Berat Albayrak, following talks between Emmanuel Macron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan".

Turkey has been pushing back against USA pressure, insisting that it will determine its own economic policies and choose its own trade partners.

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Economists gave Albayrak's presentation a qualified welcome and the lira initially found some support.

"We will turn this crisis into an opportunity", said Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin after a cabinet meeting chaired by the president, saying measures taken so far had helped bring about a "rapid improvement process" over the last two days.

US and Turkey relations have been souring, after President Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum in response to his continued imprisonment.

The lira had already plunged over 20 percent this year before Erdogan was re-elected in June.

In response, Turkey raised tariffs on several USA -made goods, including alcohol and tobacco products and vehicles.

He has also warned Ankara could start looking for new allies, as well as new markets.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), al-Shafi pointed out that Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani became the first statesman to visit Turkey following the US sanctions and supported the country's economy with $15 billion. He did not elaborate on what measures the United States is willing to take if Turkey continues to play hardball over Brunson.

Elmira Bayrasli, who teaches worldwide affairs with a focus on Turkey at Bard College, said that Erdogan is improving relations with Europe to increase confidence in the Turkish market.

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

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