Turkish finance chief tries to reassure investors on crisis

Turkish finance chief tries to reassure investors on crisis

"We have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members", Mnuchin told President Donald Trump in a cabinet meeting attended by the press.

However, Washington warned that Turkey should expect more economic sanctions unless it hands over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some U.S. imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott USA electronic goods, singling out Iphones.

The threat of sanctions comes amid Trump's concerns over Brunson, who is accused of being involved with an attempted coup that led to tens of thousands of people being arrested in 2016.

Investors gave Finance Minister Berat Albayrak the benefit of the doubt after a conference call on Thursday at which he tried to reassure them that Turkey would emerge stronger from the currency crisis.

Before he spoke, the lira strengthened more than 3 per cent, despite signs that the rift with the United States is as wide as ever.

"Escalating the use of Section 232 tariffs on imports from Turkey poses serious risks for the United States", Brilliant said.

"Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released. Not fair, not right", he added.

The US doubled tariffs last week over Turkey's refusal to free a US pastor who is imprisoned there.

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. USA officials maintain there is no credible evidence against Brunson, and the Trump administration has negotiated for weeks to secure his release.

He also urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

Turkey says the case is a matter for the courts.

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 defense systems, that have contributed to instability in Turkish financial markets.

On Thursday, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak assured worldwide investors on a conference call that the country would emerge stronger from its currency crisis and that its banks were healthy. And while many global economists peg the currency's troubles to a combination of debt, inflation and Erdogan's vow to reject raising interest rates - a typical solution to these problems - Erdogan himself has found a ready villain: the U.S.

China isn't the only country the United States has a rocky relationship with - Turkey is causing a few headaches for United States leaders as well.

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