United States threatens more Turkey sanctions if pastor not freed

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak

Almost 10 million people use US iPhones in Turkey, press reports said, adding that the amount paid for the products hit 7 billion dollars in 10 years.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said Wednesday he expected problems with the United States, which helped drive the lira to record lows, to be resolved but Washington must stop trying to influence Turkey's judiciary in a reference to the detention of Pastor Brunson for spying.

The recent turmoil has raised fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey and prompted alarm that foreign investors in the country, including Qatar, could be hit in the fallout.

"Turkey isn't in favor of an economic war", Ibrahim Kalin said Wednesday, "but staying silent when attacked is out of question". The banks were capable of managing the volatility, and there had been no major flow of cash out of deposits lately, he added.

Turkey is ready to discuss its issues with the United States as long as there are no threats, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

It has since pulled back a little to under 6 lira to the dollar.

Earlier in the day, the currency had shrugged off US comments ruling out the removal of steel tariffs on Turkey even if it frees an American pastor who lies at the center of the complex feud between Washington and Ankara.

"They don't hesitate to use the economy as a weapon", the president noted, suggesting that Turkey may soon boycott American electronics, including the iPhone.

The White House says "we won't forget" how Turkey has treated a detained American pastor, after a court rejected his appeal for release.

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The spokesperson said that Turkish authorities had so far given no indication that they meant to seek International Monetary Fund assistance, according to the report.

President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports to the United States last week prompting Turkey, which says it will not bow to threats, to raise tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol and tobacco by the same amount on Wednesday. Turkish airlines and telecom firms also halted all advertising in USA media.

Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the tariffs on certain products were increased "within the framework of the principle of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious economic attacks by the United States".

The currency recovered after authorities took steps to help bank liquidity and limit swap transactions.

Cevdet Erdol, president of the Health Sciences University in Istanbul, urged Turks to boycott USA tobacco products and "to stop smoking altogether", according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency. Earlier this year, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said U.S.

The White House official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said "nothing has progressed" thus far on the Brunson case.

"Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released".

'The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the USA administration's deliberate attacks on our economy, ' Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

Brunson has appealed again to a Turkish court to release him from house arrest and lift his travel ban, his lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday.

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