Turkey court rejects new appeal to free detained USA pastor

Turkey court rejects new appeal to free detained USA pastor

Turkey court rejects new appeal to free detained USA pastor

Qatar defied US President Donald Trump on Wednesday and promised to plough $15 billion into Turkish financial markets and banks, amid a collapse in the value of the lira and a looming trade war between Turkey and the United States.

The massive pledge came during a visit by Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Ankara on Wednesday, where he met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The move by Turkey's Gulf ally offered further support to a lira rally after the Turkish central bank tightened liquidity and curbed selling of the currency.

Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted that the new tariffs were retaliation for "the deliberate attack of the USA administration on our economy", CNN said.

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A decree by Erdogan doubled Turkish tariffs on imports of US passenger cars to 120 percent, alcoholic drinks to 140 percent and leaf tobacco to 60 percent. The White House said on Wednesday that the United States will not lift sanctions on Turkish steel and aluminum products even if detained American pastor Andrew Brunson is released.

"Qatar has pledged United States dollars 15 billion of direct investments in Turkey", presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter yesterday. The currency has lost almost 40 per cent against the dollar this year, impacted by Mr Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

Asian stocks retreated to a one-year low on Wednesday as bearish Chinese markets worsened investor sentiment already hurt by Turkey's financial crisis. While many in the country believe the crisis is the fault of the US, even though experts have been warning of danger signs in the economy for months, Williams says some Turks do blame authoritarian President Erdogan for the crisis. "The tariffs are specific to national security", she said.

Turkey and the USA are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

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Mr Erdogan, on the other hand, has a laundry list of entities he views as the perpetrators of his country's money malaise. It was unclear how he planned to enforce such a boycott. "The secret to successful states is their readiness for war".

In a press briefing, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said, "The tariffs that are in place on steel would not be removed with the release of Pastor Brunson".

Turkey and Qatar have become close economic and political partners.

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law, and his Qatari counterpart Ali Sharif Al-Emadi were also present at the talks in the capital. Brunson's lawyer told CBS News that a higher court was still considering the appeal and could overrule that decision.

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