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U.S. threatens new Turkey sanctions unless jailed pastor released

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives to inaugurate the Diyanet Islamic Cultural Center in the United States in April 2016 Turkey issues retaliatory tariffs on US imports
Ginger Lawrence | 17 August, 2018, 02:50

With the dispute between the US and Turkey seeming to escalate by the day, the value of Turkey's lira currency against the dollar has plummeted, but Sanders rejected any blame on the U.S.'s part.

The Turkish government doubled its tariffs on imports of American cars and alcoholic beverages to 120 and 140 percent, respectively, CNN reported.

Albayrak said there would be no concessions on fiscal discipline and said, "We are targeting lowering inflation into the single digits as soon as possible".

Businessmen holding USA dollars stand in front of a currency exchange office in response to the call of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings to support the lira, in Ankara, Turkey Aug. 14, 2018.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on Wednesday and stood at 5.9350 at 0745 GMT in a move initially triggered by a Turkish court decision to release two Greek soldiers facing espionage charges.

"Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity", Kalin added.

The investment package was announced after Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday.

Tariffs were also increased on cosmetics, rice and coal.

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In a conference call with some 6,000 foreign investors on Thursday, Berat Albayrak said Turkey will navigate this period of United States sanctions with the help of other parties such as Russia, China and Germany.

Moves by the central bank to ensure Turkish banks have liquidity and a planned conference call by Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan´s son-in-law on Thursday have gone some way to giving reassurance to investors. "The tariffs are specific to national security", she said.

According to local reports, it was boosted after the Turkish banking regulator cut the amount of funds banks can use for currency swap trading, limiting the possibilities for speculating against the lira.

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court ruled on August 15 to release from jail Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

Doha has $20 billion worth of investments in Turkey, and Ankara is one of the top exporters to the emirate.

"The US is our major trade partner but it's not the only one", Pekcan was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

Turkish officials have been keen to emphasise that Ankara wants to retain strong ties with Europe, which has also expressed deep unease with Trump's trade policies.

Erdogan also moved to strengthen ties with Germany, Turkey's biggest economic partner by far, accounting for about 37 billion euros ($42 billion) in bilateral trade a year ago.