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Turkish courts release detainees but reject U.S. pastor's appeal

16 August 2018

On Wednesday, Qatar pledged $15 billion to help Turkey through its economic and currency crisis.

In an interview Wednesday with Anadolu Agency, Qatar's Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak Al-Shafi said: "The state of Qatar is always proactive in supporting its Turkish brothers". "Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity".

This tariff hikes came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's announcement on 14 August of a boycott on U.S. electronics goods, with Erdoğan advising explicitly against the purchase of iPhones, encouraging citizens to instead use Samsung and Turkish-made Vestel phones.

Despite the political tensions, the lira rebounded some 6% on Wednesday, strengthening to around 6.0 to the dollar.

Turkey's lira has plummeted almost 40 percent this year due to concerns over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy.

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.

Turkey releases Greek soldiers as it slaps 140% tariff on American alcohol
Ibrahim Kalin also told a news conference that Turkey would exercise its rights if the USA does not deliver F-35 jets to Ankara. Tariffs were also increased on cosmetics, rice and coal. "We have other partnerships and alternative markets".

Relations between the two NATO allies have plummeted in one of their worst crises in decades as Trump tries to secure the release of Brunson, an evangelical pastor from North Carolina being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

"In response to deliberated and continued trade tensions, Turkey has again raised tariffs on key US imports", Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said in a statement. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, though it was unclear how the boycott would be enforced or encouraged.

Sanders responded that "the tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction", adding "certainly we don't support Turkey's decision to retaliate against us protecting our national security interests". But she added that Turkey's economic problems "are a part of a long-term trend, something of its own making and not the result of any actions the United States has taken". "Theirs are out of retaliation", said Sanders yesterday.

On Wednesday, a court in Izmir, where Brunson is on trial, rejected his appeal to be released from house arrest.

"The sanctions, however, that have been placed on Turkey are specific to pastor Brunson and others that we feel are being held unfairly, and we would consider that at that point".

The worsening dispute comes just one month after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit where the two of the alliances biggest powers came together in a show of unity.

Turkish courts release detainees but reject U.S. pastor's appeal