Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Turkish courts release detainees but reject USA pastor's appeal

Turkish courts release detainees but reject USA pastor's appeal

It touched a record low of 7.24 to the dollar early on Monday, rattling global stock markets and threatening the stability of Turkey's financial sector.

A boycott of USA electronics goods was proposed by Erdogan on Tuesday, who is accusing Washington of waging a targeted economic war on his country.

It recovered a bit, by four per cent to around 6.12 lira per USA dollar Wednesday, after the government took steps to shore up the currency by reducing the daily limit in bank foreign currency swap transactions.

A spokesman for the Turkish president has said Washington must stop trying to influence Turkey's judiciary.

The dispute with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner the United States, focused on a tit-for-tat tariff row and the detention in Turkey of a USA pastor, helped turn the currency's steady decline into meltdown.

Some analysts predicted Beijing, while embroiled in a trade war with the U.S., may offer some financial assistance to Turkey, such as buying yuan-denominated bonds.

It rebounded some 6 percent on Wednesday, briefly strengthening to less than 6.0 against the dollar, after the central bank squeezed lira liquidity in the market, effectively pushing up rates and supporting the currency.

In response, Erdogan has called for a boycott of United States electrical goods.

"If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere". This has meant that commerce, even between two countries that don't use the dollar as their currency, tends to be conducted, at least in some roundabout way, in dollars.

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"Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the USA administration's deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted Tuesday that he was delighted by the news of the soldiers' imminent release and that Turkey had "nothing to fear" from its European neighbors.

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey past year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

Turkey on Wednesday doubled tariffs on several USA products, including alcohol and tobacco products and cars.

Turkey's trade minister Ruhsar Pekcan said: "The United States is an important trading partner but it is not our only partner".

The pastor is now being held under house arrest.

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

A court in the western Turkish city of Izmir rejected a new appeal to free Brunson on Wednesday, the state television TRT reported.

"If the traitor in Pennsylvania is extradited to our country, the handover of the pastor may be in the offing, and both countries will get what they want", Devlet Bahceli, leader of a far-right political party allied with Erdogan, said Wednesday in Ankara, according to the Anadolu news agency.

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