USA says more sanctions await if Turkey does not free pastor

USA says more sanctions await if Turkey does not free pastor

A Turkish court has rejected an appeal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson from his house arrest, according to local media.

The number of Qatari investments in Turkey is very small, compared to the size of the lira crisis and the size of foreign currency debt to the government, banks and private sector institutions.

The Turkish lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year.

He said: "We put sanctions on several cabinet members".

"They have not proven to be a good friend", Trump said of Turkey during the cabinet meeting.

The lira has weakened 35 per cent against the dollar this year as the deterioration in ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies fuelled losses driven by concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

Brunson, a pastor who is a long time resident in Turkey, is alleged by the government to have links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, both of which are accused of being involved in 2016's failed coup against Erdogan.

A Trump tweet last week announcing a doubling of aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey triggered the rout in the currency markets.

The lira has staged a small recovery but that is threatened by a fresh tweet from US President Donald Trump. Turkey also maintains a small military base in Qatar.

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Upholding a lower court's decision earlier this week, the higher court also ruled against lifting a travel ban imposed on Mr Brunson.

Albayrak's ministry said they had discussed US sanctions against Turkey and agreed to act together in responding to such moves and to boost cooperation between their countries.

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

Standard & Poor's is scheduled to release a review of Turkey's sovereign credit rating later on Friday.

In recent days, Qatari supporters of Turkey have begun a public campaign in Doha to change their riyals into lira in an attempt to shore up the plunging Turkish currency.

That would require "an increase in the policy credibility and independence of the central bank, tolerance of weaker growth by policymakers, and a reduction in macroeconomic and financial imbalances", Fitch said in a statement Friday.

The lira lost strength after Mnuchin's remarks.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in a note on August 17, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion.

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