Why markets are anxious about suddenly cold Turkey

The Latest: Turkey court rejects release of US pastor | Miami Herald
Trump attacks Turkey, vows to pay 'nothing' for US pastor's release
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18 August, 2018

A Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal to release an American pastor at the centre of a diplomatic crisis with the U.S., just a day after Washington threatened more sanctions if his detention continued.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured President Donald Trump at a cabinet meeting that sanctions were ready to be put in place unless Brunson was freed.

Dashing hopes for a quick solution to the dispute, a Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal for the evangelical pastor's release from house detention.

A State Department spokesman said Friday that "the USA government is following Pastor Andrew Brunson's case closely, and we continue to provide all appropriate consular services to Mr. Brunson".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan called for a boycott of United States technology, such as the iPhone, in response to the additional sanctions and tariffs leveled by the Trump administration.

Turkey's lira tumbled as much as 8.5 percent to 6.3 per dollar, having recovered ground rapidly in recent days.

Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades was detained by a court in Turkey on charges bordering on spying and terrorism and now faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.

"We've already responded based on the World Trade Organization rules and will continue to do so", state-run Anadolu news agency quoted him as saying.

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The US imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports over the continued detention of an American pastor on espionage and terror-related charges.

Referring to imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson, Trump said "they have a great Christian pastor there, he's a very innocent man".

Albayrak said there would be no concessions on fiscal discipline, adding: "We are targeting lowering inflation into the single digits as soon as possible".

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet US representatives, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that talks will take place in Washington on August 21 and 22. It says the case against Atilla, sentenced to 32 months in prison, was politically motivated.

"Because of the currency crisis in Turkey, investors are shifting funds from emerging markets to developed markets", said Shuji Shirota, head of macroeconomic strategy at HSBC Securities in Tokyo.

"Unfortunately, our words have fallen on deaf ears, and American weapons ended up being used to target civilians and members of our security forces in Syria, Iraq and Turkey".

Erdogan has also held talks with the German and French leaders, a sign that Ankara is moving closer to Europe after several years of sharp tensions.


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