USA threatens Turkey with more sanctions if it doesn’t free pastor

Gladys Abbott
August 17, 2018

"We have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members", said Mnuchin. "We have more that we're planning to do if they don't release him quickly".

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He has been held in Turkey for two years and accused by local prosecutors of "terrorist" ties to the Islamist Gulen movement, which has been blamed for a failed coup in July 2016.

"Turkey would do well not to test @POTUS Trump's resolve to see Americans who are wrongfully imprisoned in foreign lands returned home to the United States", Pence tweeted.

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

Turkey shot back on Friday, threatening to respond if the United States levied further sanctions.

At 1612 GMT the currency TRYTOM=D3 stood at 6.0700 to the dollar, almost 5 percent weaker.

"Turkey - they have not proven to be a good friend".

He has denied the charges, and his case has been taken up by US President Donald Trump, who counts evangelical Christians among his core supporters.

The currency has lost almost 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

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Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, told investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from the currency crisis, insisting its banks were healthy and signalling it could ride out the dispute with Washington.

He said he was also considering an appeal to Turkey's constitutional court.

Turkey, however, is confident that an International Monetary Fund bailout is not necessary because the government has been able to turn the tide.

While many experts had predicted that Erdogan would back down to save ties with the U.S., the Turkish president's moves over the past days have indicated otherwise.

"We have stood together and will continue to do so", he said, making clear the high-level meeting was meant to communicate unequivocal support for Turkey at a critical juncture.

Gold prices shed over one per cent on Thursday.


"This is what happens when you choose to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds", Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and worldwide relations scholar, told Arab News. "Can such a thing be accepted?"

"Turkey has been a problem for a long time". Erdogan has cast the tariffs, and the sell-off in the lira, as an "economic war" against Turkey.

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