Erdogan says US set deadline for pastor's release

Erdogan says US set deadline for pastor's release

The lira has always been falling on worries about Mr Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States.

On Friday the currency dropped as much as 18% at one point, the biggest one-day fall since a 2001 financial crisis in Turkey.

The penalties also bar any United States transactions with the two men.

The currency is down 40 percent just this year, shaking worldwide investors' confidence in the country.

President Donald Trump broke the news on social media that he authorized the doubling of existing steel and aluminum duties on imports from Turkey.

Erdogan has further attempted to bolster the nation against this "economic war", calling for citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira as part of the "domestic and national struggle". He tweeted, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

Erdogan said Turkey would turn towards new markets, new partners and alternative financial tools.

"As he stated, the president has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said. In response to Turkey's tightening embrace of Russia, Congress slapped a hold on delivery of F-35s to the Turkish air force, for fear that the Russians would be invited to examine the world's most advanced stealth warplane. As recently as April the ratio was about four lira per dollar.

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"We know very well that the issue is not the dollar, the euro or gold".

The Trump administration gave Turkey until last Wednesday to release American pastor Andrew Brunson from custody, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported revealed. "Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said. It is host to an X-band radar, a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system again Iran.

It said it would support steel and aluminium exporters on all global platforms, and the United States remained an important trade partner.

"If you advance upon us by the dollar, we will look for other means to carry on our business", he added.

Ankara wants the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt in which 250 people were killed. Gulen denies the allegation.

Brunson has been detained for the past 20 months on accusations that he supported groups the Turkish government deems terrorists.

His cause resonates with Trump's Christian conservative supporters, who could be influential as Republicans seek to retain control of Congress in midterm elections in November. I am addressing the USA once again: it is a pity that you chose a pastor over your strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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