Erdogan says US set deadline for pastor's release

13 August, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Regina Silva

The Turkish lira has been targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump himself, and Turkey has prepared an action plan to soothe its volatility against the dollar, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said late Sunday. The European Central Bank announced on Friday that it was concerned about the Lira's exposure to European banks, fearing that financial contagion may spread to major lenders such as Unicredit, BBVA, and BNP Paribas.

That raised alarms in Western capitals and the US Congress that Turkey was becoming a less reliable partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation despite hosting the US and other allies at its Incirlik air base for the fight against Islamic State. He tweeted, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

Similar to EUR/USD, global stocks also succumbed to losses as risk sentiment declined.

"We implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table", Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said.

The reported measures "have evidently had some impact in pulling the lira back higher", said Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank Ltd.in Sydney. Additionally, on Friday President Donald Trump tweeted that he is increasing tariffs on USA imports of Turkish of steel and aluminum.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Saturday to defy U.S. "threats" over a detained pastor, showing no signs of concessions in a bitter row that has caused the Turkish lira to crash.

The currency has lost more than 45 percent of its value this year, largely over worries about Erdogan's influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and worsening ties with the United States.

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"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor", Erdogan said in the Black Sea town of Unye.

The Turkish lira fell 13 percent to 6.51 per dollar.

Turkey wants the USA to extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.

It came as a Turkish delegation returned from the United States, reporting no progress on negotiations involving a USA pastor imprisoned in Turkey. Gulen denies the allegation.

U.S. President Donald Trump introduced a round of sanctions on August 1, preventing the Turkish justice an interior ministries from doing business with U.S. businesses.

Friday's announcement could further escalate tensions with Turkey, which continues to detain Andrew Brunson, an American pastor Ankara accuses of helping plot a 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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. "Nobody should try to make us fall into this trap, we won't be fooled by this plot, nobody should get excited".

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