Turkish lira volatile as USA warns of further sanctions

US sanctions imposed on Turkey have triggered a crash in the value of the lira

A higher Turkish court has rejected an appeal for the release from detention of the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is facing terrorism-related charges and is now under house arrest in the Aegean province of Izmir.

Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, is being held on charges related to terrorism.

Turkey has been hit by a currency crisis fuelled by a heated row with the United States.

The lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, sparking a sell-off in emerging market currencies and weighing on global stocks.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said.

"They have not proven to be a good friend", Trump said of Turkey during the Cabinet 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 flailing Turkish lira rebounded slightly on Thursday, on the heels of Qatar's announcement that it would earmark $15 billion for deposits and investment projects to be made in Turkey. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

Gary Bauer, chief domestic policy adviser for former President Ronald Reagan, said the evangelical community welcomed the appointments of Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.




The pledge was announced after the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held a private meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

But Washington's move has sent Turkey's financial markets into a tailspin: the Turkish lira plummeted more than 18 per cent at one point last Friday to a record low against the U.S. dollar. "Similarly, there has been no improvement in relations with the U.S. and additional sanctions may be on the horizon". Albayrak also said Turkey had no plans to seek help from the International Monetary Fund or impose capital controls to stop money flowing overseas.

Turkey's Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan responded to the new threat on Friday.

Turkey has accused Brunson of espionage and having ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party and the movement led by cleric Fethullah Gulen.

A State Department spokesman said Friday that "the USA government is following Pastor Andrew Brunson's case closely, and we continue to provide all appropriate consular services to Mr. Brunson".

However, analysts are calling for a sharp hike in interest rates - which Erdogan adamantly opposes because it will put a brake on economic growth.

Heavy selling in recent weeks has spread to other emerging market currencies and global stocks and deepened concerns about the economy, particularly Turkey's dependence on energy imports and whether foreign-currency debt poses a risk to banks.

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