More US sanctions for Turkey if they don't obey

Marcus Newton
August 18, 2018

And the day earlier, two Greek soldiers held by Turkey since March for illegally crossing the border were also freed.

Tensions between Turkey and the USA have been on the rise as Trump has pressed for the release of the pastor.

In fact, Arriaga says all Americans can apply pressure by hitting Turkey where it hurts the most - in the pocketbook by avoiding buying Turkish goods.

The crisis has prompted widespread selling in other emerging markets, sparking fears of a global crisis.

What are the latest developments?

Turkey's Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan responded to the new threat on Friday.

Trump later said in a tweet the United States "will pay nothing" for Mr Brunson's release, "but we are cutting back on Turkey!"

He said: "I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downwards against our very strong Dollar!"

The embattled currency, which has fallen by 40% this year amid a lack of interest rate hikes to control inflation, fell to around 5.86 to the dollar - continuing its recovery from a record low of 7.23 on Sunday.

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They made up this phony charge that [Brunson] is a spy and he's not a spy... They have not acted as a friend...

Analysts also said the political cost of the investment remained to be seen, given that Qatar is also a U.S. ally and dependent on Washington for both military and political protection.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during a meeting of President Donald Trump's Cabinet. "We are not going to take it sitting down, they can't take our people so we will see happens".

The conflict between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies is even more personalized because of U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose uncompromising statements contribute to a sense that the tension will ratchet up before any possibility of a climbdown. Mr Brunson denies any involvement.

The US insists the pastor, a long-time Turkish resident, is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention".

Christian evangelicals constitute an important part of Trump's political base. The US has refused to extradite Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, Qatar announced that it would provide Turkey with "a host of economic projects, investments and deposits" worth a collective of $15 billion in a bid to support Turkey's economy.

Erdogan has remained defiant in the face of the crisis with Washington, saying Turkey could turn to new alternative markets.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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