Turkey Counterpunches By Raising Tariffs On U.S. Goods

Andrew Cummings
August 15, 2018

Erdogan suggested Turks would stop procuring US-made iPhones and instead buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel.

Turkey's weakened currency, the lira, plunged by more than 20% in response to those U.S. sanctions.

Kalin said Erdogan would hold telephone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later Wednesday and with Emmanuel Macron of France on Thursday.

Turkey-based experts, however, have noted that China's influence is still largely confined to the economy. "This includes an emergency interest rate hike by the central bank, imposing capital controls, fiscal reforms, securing a rescue package by the International Monetary Fund or other lenders and ending the current diplomatic fight with Donald Trump".

In an effort to defend the lira, Turkey's central bank tightened its rules on currency swaps and other foreign exchange transactions, limiting banks' ability to supply lira to foreign financial companies.

"The president has a great deal of frustration (about) the pastor not being released", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have repeatedly urged Turkey to release Brunson, with the US levying sanctions against two Turkish ministers over his detainment.

Turkey's deepening currency run, which some analysts worry may soon morph into a debt repayments crisis, has a good chance of affecting other key markets around the world for one key reason: the country's political importance to the power struggle between the European Union and Russian Federation is even greater than its economic might.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies the United States and Turkey have been at loggerheads over a wide range of topics including diverging interests in Syria, Ankara's ambition to buy Russian defence systems and Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey for terrorism charges.

On Wednesday, a Turkish court in the Aegean province of Izmir, where Brunson is on trial, rejected the pastor's appeal to be released from house arrest. A higher court was however, was scheduled to review the appeal, the agency said. Brunson has denied both charges, which his supporters say are fabricated.

An evangelical from North Carolina, he has been held in Turkey for almost two years over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016. He is also accused of having links to the failed coup attempt that year.

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

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK listed as a terrorist group by both the United States and Turkey and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

"Turkey is also putting more importance on European Union countries to avoid a full confrontation with the West", he said. He also garnered the support of Sens.

Turkey considers the group linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) it bans at home, with the Americans using the fighters in its efforts to root out Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

According to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, Merkel also underlined her country's concern for a strong Turkish economy, repeating her Monday comments that Turkey's economic prosperity "serves Germany's interests".

Other reports by iNewsToday