Turkey refuses to release pastor despite threat of U.S. sanctions

Turkey refuses to release pastor despite threat of U.S. sanctions

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday evening said that the United States could look to impose fresh sanctions on Turkey if President Erdogan doesn't release imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Brunson has now found himself in the middle of a diplomatic spat between the two countries, with US President Donald Trump authorizing new tariffs on steel an aluminium last week to put pressure on Ankara.

"They should have given him back a long time ago, and Turkey has in my opinion acted very, very badly", Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to Brunson.

Investors, already anxious about Turkey's economy, were irked by a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States over the continued detention of an American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

President Trump is ramping his attacks up on Turkey, claiming the country has taken advantage of the US for many years.

Mr Trump said: "They want to hold our wonderful pastor".

"Even if tensions between the USA and Turkey are resolved, investors still need to see serious fiscal and monetary measures to restore confidence".

Turkey's lira fell once again after the trade minister, Ruhsar Pekcan, said on Friday that her government would respond to any new trade duties, which Mr Trump threatened in his overnight tweet.

Yet, the crisis that we face in American-Turkish relations goes well beyond the plight of the pastor.

Whatever action the United States does take, economists said it looked likely to cause more pain for Turkish assets in the immediate future.

The currency has recovered from record lows earlier this week.

Qatar's royal court released a statement saying Al-Thani "issued directives that will see the State of Qatar to provide a host of economic projects, investments, and deposits" worth $15 billion to support the Turkish economy. On Aug. 14, he said Turkey would boycott USA electronic products. Trump added the pastor is a "very innocent man" and "we got somebody out for him - he needed help getting somebody out of some place".

Turkey's finance minister sparked a recovery in the lira yesterday after he addressed thousands of worldwide investors on a conference call.

The turmoil has raised fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey and prompted alarm that foreign investors in the country, including Qatar, could be hit in the fallout.

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