Turkey court rejects USA pastor Andrew Brunson release appeal

Turkey's battered lira weakened 5 percent on Friday after a Turkish court rejected an American pastor's appeal for release, drawing a stiff rebuke from President Donald Trump who said the United States would not take the detention "sitting down".

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for over twenty years and led a small church in the southwestern coastal town of Izmir, was jailed for almost two years following the failed 2016 coup.

Turkey's lira, meanwhile, dropped nearly 3 percent to almost 6 per dollar again, having recovered ground rapidly in recent days.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during the meeting. "They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage", he wrote.

The threat comes as Turkey sought to reassure investors rattled by the sanctions-fueled crash of the Turkish lira, insisting the country would emerge stronger. Turkey retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some USA imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott US electronic goods.

Brunson is under house arrest after spending almost two years in a Turkish prison under what the Trump administration has said are bogus allegations of aiding terrorists.

Also worrying investors has been President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's refusal to allow the central bank to raise interest rates to support the currency, as experts say it should.

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USA authorities have rebuffed efforts by Turkey for the extradition of Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Can Buyuker, who works in an exchange bureau in a busy Istanbul neighbourhood, said both Trump and Erdogan were playing up to nationalist voters.

The statement said that the two ministers made a decision to work closely to develop cooperation between Turkey and France and agreed to meet in Paris on August 27.

According to the Middle East Eye, officials in Ankara are willing to concede to United States demands for the freedom of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical preacher accused of playing a role in the attempted coup there in 2016.

Trump said the United States had helped Turkey in a related incident, but that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally had not repaid the favor. In retaliation, a Turkish court refused to release Brunson, and the Turkish government raised its tariffs on imports of American cars, alcohol and tobacco. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going.

Mr Erdogan wrote in the New York Times earlier that unless the USA changed course, Turkey would look for new friends and allies. The currency was supported by Turkey's plan to cut spending, support for the banks and Qatar's pledge to invest $15bn in the country.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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