Turkey reportedly ready to free pastor Andrew Brunson, as Trump demanded

Turkey reportedly ready to free pastor Andrew Brunson, as Trump demanded

Turkey reportedly ready to free pastor Andrew Brunson, as Trump demanded

A Turkish court has rejected an appeal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson from his house arrest, according to local media.

The case of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical Christian missionary from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for two decades, has become a flashpoint between Washington and Ankara and accelerated a widening currency crisis.

The lira, which has lost some 40 percent of its value this year, weakened beyond 6.21 against the United States dollar after the news, from 6.04 beforehand.

President Donald Trump last week ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

"We got somebody out for him", Trump said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

USA stocks suffered their worst day in seven weeks after the move, and the lira gained 7 percent against the dollar.

By retaliating against the U.S., Bayrasli said that Turkey will give the perception that its cutting itself off from the largest economy in the world, which will be bad for Turkey's financial markets and growing businesses.

"We have responded to the measures the United States has taken, and will continue to do so based on our global trade law rights and in accordance to World Trade Organization rules", said the minister, Ruhsar Pekcan.

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The latest USA announcement came after Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sought to soothe markets during an unprecedented teleconference on Thursday with hundreds of foreign investors from the United States, Europe to Asia. He has ordered that assets of the U.S. Justice and Interior ministers be frozen, though it's unclear how much U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might have invested in Turkey. He has been held in Turkey for two years and accused by local prosecutors of "terrorist" ties to the Islamist Gulen movement, which has been blamed for a failed coup in July 2016. He said he was also considering an appeal to Turkey's constitutional court.

Erdogan has moved to shore up alliances in Europe and the Middle East, easing pressure on the battered lira, as the standoff with the US has deepened.

Qatar's royal court released a statement saying Al-Thani "issued directives that will see the State of Qatar to provide a host of economic projects, investments, and deposits" worth $15 billion to support the Turkish economy.

Trump added the pastor is a "very innocent man" and "we got somebody out for him - he needed help getting somebody out of some place".

Earlier on Friday, a Turkish court rejected another appeal to free U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention has sparked a major crisis in Ankara's ties with Washington, his lawyer said.

"Turkey has been a problem for a long time".

This defiance seems to have consolidated Erdoğan's domestic power, but given the country's considerable economic reliance on Western banks and markets, the country is now more vulnerable than ever to a currency and debt crisis of its own making.

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