USA threatens more sanctions, keeping alive Turkish crisis

Mae Love
August 18, 2018

Turkey on Wednesday doubled tariffs on several U.S. goods, including cars and alcohol products, after U.S. President Donald Trump increased U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Turkey, for its part, denounced the "economic war" and said it would find "new friends and allies".

While Evangelists in the United States consider Trump's efforts to release Brunson as support for religious freedom, the article argued Trump was trying to use this issue to secure success during the November 7 midterm elections.

With his relationship with the USA on the rocks, Erdogan has worked to strengthen his alliances in Europe and the Middle East.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

"Turkey's been a problem for a long time", Trump told reporters as he departed the White House on Friday for a fundraiser in NY.

Earlier on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin hinted at more sanctions over Brunson, saying, "We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly".

USA treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin warned the country will turn up the heat on under-fire president Recep Tayyip Erdogan by imposing more crippling sanctions if Turkey refuses to free American pastor Andrew Brunson.

ENERGY, BANKS The Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilise the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions.

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USA intelligence has raised concerns over China's growing influence in the Pacific, a stronghold of the United States for years. The document also warns that China "is likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force".

Their weakness stemmed also from falls in their currencies after the Turkish lira plunged this month on concerns about diplomatic rifts between Ankara and Washington.

Companies that for years have borrowed overseas at low interest rates have seen their cost of servicing foreign debt rise by a quarter in lira terms in two months.

Ratings agency Moody's has downgraded Turkey's credit rating deeper into "junk" status and slapped a "negative" rating on its outlook.

"Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years".

The leader of Turkey's main opposition party said Erdogan was using the standoff over the evangelical pastor as a "pretext", blaming the United States for economic problems and diverting attention from his own alleged mismanagement.

The latest U.S. announcement came after Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak tried to soothe the markets during an unprecedented conference call with hundreds of foreign investors, insisting Turkey would emerge "stronger" from the currency crisis and would not need an International Monetary Fund bailout. Economists gave Albayrak's presentation a qualified welcome and the lira subsequently held firm.

Turkish markets will be closed from midday on Monday for the rest of the week for Eid Al Adha. Erdogan has remained defiant, urging Turks to sell their gold and dollars for lira.

Specialist trader Meric Greenbaum works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 17, 2018.

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