More US sanctions for Turkey if they don't obey

18 August, 2018, 18:27 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Turkish Lira sell-off wreaks havoc with global currency markets

"You haven't acted, so we will", is how Brownback described President Donald Trump's "decisive, aggressive action" against Turkey for holding a USA citizen illegally on unproven terrorism charges.

The lira has lost almost 40 per cent of its value against the dollar this year as investors fret about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

In response to the weakness, the Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilize the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions.

The embattled lira fell three percent yesterday after a Turkish court rejected a United States pastor's appeal for release, drawing a stiff rebuke from Mr Trump, who warned the U.S. would not take the detention of Andrew Brunson "sitting down".

He also urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some United States products.

The fresh slide dented investor confidence and knocked emerging market currencies back into the
red. "The US wishes to tell the Turkish society that its leader has to be removed". The pastor was arrested in 2016 after the failed coup attempt and has been held in remand since.

"They should have given him back a long time ago, and Turkey has in my opinion acted very, very badly", Trump told reporters at the White House.

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The issue has led to a dramatic souring of U.S. -Turkey relations.

The US has threatened to impose more economic sanctions on Turkey if it does not free a detained American pastor.

Mr Trump's comments came as Turkey's finance minister Berat Albayrak attempted to reassure 6,000 worldwide investors and economists on a video link that the country would emerge stronger from the crisis.

'We are not going to take it sitting down.' The row follows US-imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled tariffs on its steel and aluminum imports.

Turkey, meanwhile, has been busy seeking other alliances, including with China, Russia, Iran, and a wide range of other emerging countries, all of which Ankara sees as potential substitutes for its deteriorating relationship with the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Turkey is also seemingly on the brink of a major debt crisis, as a weakening lira makes it harder for Ankara to pay its worldwide dues. "The Europeans will maintain the existing objections to certain Erdogan policies and continue to voice their concerns, but that won't stop them from developing pragmatic cooperation with Turkey", he said.

However, it is not just Turkey that has something to lose in this crisis. He said he was also considering an appeal to Turkey's constitutional court.

For years Turkish firms have borrowed in dollars and lira to take advantage of lower interest rates.



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