Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Turkish court rejects appeal to release USA pastor

Greece and Turkey exposure Countries ranked by the percentage of their exports that go to Turkey. Credit Suisse
Elsie Buchanan | 15 August, 2018, 23:48

Under the decree, Turkey will also raise tariffs to around 100 percent on imports of some other products.

Erdogan also renewed a call for Turks to convert their dollars into the lira, to help strengthen the currency.

"On behalf of the Prime Minister (Alexis Tsipras), the government, and also the Greek people, we welcome them back home and I hope that their release today, on such an important day, will mark a new day for Greek-Turkish relations", he was quoted as saying.

Erdogan has warned Turkey could seek alternative partners pointing to Ankara´s strong ties with Russia, Iran and China.

She said Turkey would continue to "protect the rights of Turkish companies and retaliate" against unjust actions by the United States.

At any rate, it's not clear how Erdogan plans to enforce this boycott if indeed he intends to enforce it at all.

The rebound of around six percent on Wednesday, briefly strengthening to less than 6.0 against the dollar, came after the central bank squeezed lira liquidity in the market, effectively pushing up rates and supporting the currency.

Amnesty International said it was "overjoyed" by the news that its chairman in Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was set to be freed later Wednesday by an Istanbul court after being held in detention for over a year.

Erdogan, who in 2016 urged Turks to convert their foreign-currency savings into lira and gold as relations with the USA started to deteriorate, said this week that they should exchange the metal for lira.

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Attention will turn Thursday to an address by the finance minister to foreign investors for clues on any change in economic policy.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for Brunson, describing him as a "fine gentleman", a "Christian leader in the United States" and a "respected USA pastor" whose continued holding by Turkey was a "total disgrace".

A state of frustration is now permeating Turkish society due to the "silence of Qatar" regarding the crisis that hit Turkey's economy as a result of U.S. sanctions against Ankara, Turkish daily newspaper Takvim reported.

The move comes after US President Donald Trump announced last week that the United States was doubling steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, as the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies quarrel over Brunson's detention. A higher court was however, was scheduled to review the appeal, the agency said.

The court in the western city of Izmir ruled that Brunson, who faces 35 years in jail over terror and espionage charges, will remain under house arrest.

Brunson, who has worked in Turkey for more than 20 years as the pastor of the Resurrection Church, was detained more than a year ago for an alleged connection to a failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016.

The US decision is another salvo in the growing dispute between Turkey and the US.

For its part, Turkey would like to see the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania.

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