Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Pastor Brunson appeal for house arrest release rejected by Turkish court

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested during a cabinet meeting on Thursday that the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon, deepening a spat that has rattled financial markets, if Andrew Brunson is not released by Turkey.

Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey.

A Trump administration official told the Associated Press Thursday that National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke Monday with the Turkish ambassador to the USA telling him to release Brunson.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced yesterday that the country would boycott all electronics from the United States amid tension and rising conflict between the two countries and its leaders. We are not going to take it sitting down.

Brunson's lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt told CBS News on Friday that they may file another appeal with the court as, "depending on the developments, we can apply again".

A court in Turkey has rejected an appeal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest, saying evidence was still being collected and he posed a potential flight risk.

Mr Brunson has denied charges of espionage, but faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.

He also appeared to acknowledge that he was disappointed that Turkey did not release Brunson after the United States helped negotiate the release of a Turkish national being held in Israel.

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

At 1612 GMT the currency TRYTOM=D3 stood at 6.0700 to the dollar, almost 5 percent weaker.

The United States was the fourth-largest source of imports to Turkey a year ago, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. Turkey's sovereign dollar bonds extended their gains.

"Korea we thought was all noise [.] so we bought back on that" said David Vickers, senior portfolio Manager at Russell Investments.

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

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, told investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from the currency crisis, insisting its banks were healthy and signalling it could ride out the dispute with Washington.

Doha has pledged to offer loans worth 15 billion USA dollars to help Ankara ride out its lira crisis. The lira's sharp decline has sparked fears in the worldwide community of a Turkish economic crisis.

Who is responsible for Turkey's lira crisis?

There are signs that the weakness in Turkish currency markets is already spreading.

Despite that, foreign currency deposits held by local investors rose to $159.9 billion in the week to August 10, from $158.6 billion a week earlier, central bank data showed on Thursday.

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