Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

'We see your game and challenge it,' Erdogan says

'We see your game and challenge it,' Erdogan says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will not "surrender" to the United States under the sanctions imposed by the USA over the detention of an American pastor, accusing Washington of launching an "attempted economic coup" against Ankara.

Meanwhile, Erdogan told the AKP congress that Turkey would press on with and expand its cross-border military operations.

U.S. President Donald Trump is condemning the detention of an American pastor in Turkey and warned that "we are not going to take it sitting down".

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Dollar banknotes are seen in this photo illustration taken February 12, 2018. Earlier this week a Turkish court denied his appeal for release.

The collapse of the currency has been blamed both on the tensions with the United States and Erdogan's increasing hold on Turkey's economy and his refusal to allow the central bank to raise interest rates.

Speaking in Washington, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders made clear the United States had no plan to remove the steel tariffs if Brunson were released though she said it could remove sanctions imposed on two senior Turkish officials.

Ankara has retaliated by steeply hiking tariffs on some US products.

Investors are concerned that Turkey's has amassed high levels of foreign debt to fuel growth in recent years, and as the currency drops, that debt becomes more expensive to repay, leading to potential bankruptcies. The feud over Brunson, who was detained in October 2016, has added to the jitters over an economy that grew quickly, with the help of heavy borrowing, in past years. "Would the amount of Turkey's debts decrease?"

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

"They have invested a lot of pressure into the release of Brunson, given the importance of the midterm elections in the US".

While the Brunson matter appeared far from being resolved, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan got a shot in the arm from Qatar's Emir, who approved a package of economic projects, investments and deposits after the two met in Ankara.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

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.

Turkey, in turn, criticized the prosecution in the USA of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top official at Turkey's state-controlled Halkbank who was convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions.

Investors, already anxious about Turkey's economy, were irked by a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States over the continued detention of an American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

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