Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

United States threatens more sanctions on Turkey if Brunson not released

United States threatens more sanctions on Turkey if Brunson not released

Washington has imposed financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, as U.S. President Donald Trump tries to secure the release of Andrew Brunson, a 50-year-old American pastor being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund's Ankara office, noted that Turkey buys just 0.5 per cent of all USA exports and most of that is civilian aircraft and weapons.

The investment, which will be directed to Turkey's banks and financial markets, was announced after Qatar's Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani held talks in Ankara with Erdogan.

Turkey on Wednesday intensified its clash with the United States, announcing heavy new tariffs on some American products including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

Turkey sought to face down the USA and currency traders as its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reportedly received support from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The local court in Izmir rejected Brunson's appeal to be released while his trial is pending. Ankara more than doubled the tariff on U.S. rice to 50%, increased the U.S. coal tariff to 14% from 10% and more than tripled the tariff on cars to 120%.

A senior official says a series of measures aimed at shoring up the Turkish currency are taking effect and that he expects the improvements to continue.

"If the traitor in Pennsylvania is extradited to our country, the handover of the pastor may be in the offing, and both countries will get what they want", Devlet Bahceli, leader of a far-right political party allied with Erdogan, said Wednesday in Ankara, according to the Anadolu news agency. "They are killing offshore lira liquidity to stop foreigners shorting the lira", he said.

Turkey's economic crisis has deeper roots beyond the market reaction triggered by rising tensions with the US.

The dispute is one of several between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, including diverging interests in Syria and US objections to Ankara's ambition to buy Russian defence systems, that have contributed to instability in Turkish financial markets.

Turkey on Wednesday rejected the U.S.' appeal for an American pastor's release from detention, Turkish media reported. An upper court had yet to rule on the appeal, his lawyer told Reuters.

In his televised speech yesterday, Erdogan vowed that Turkey will "boycott USA electronic goods".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly described the dispute with the USA with as an "economic war" that Ankara will win.

An Istanbul court also ordered the release of Amnesty International's Turkey chair Taner Kilic who has spent more than a year in jail over alleged links to a failed coup in 2016.

" 'We are going to apply a boycott on America's electronic products, ' Erdogan said Tuesday during a televised speech, adding that there were alternatives, produced by South Korean or Turkish companies. Not only with Turkey and Iran, we're also arranging and already implementing payments in national currencies with the People's Republic of China", he said.

Like this: