Turkey court rejects new appeal to release detained United States pastor

President Erdogan said Turks should boycott American electronic goods such as mobile phones

Turkey hiked on Wednesday tariffs on imports of several key U.S. products in retaliation for American sanctions against Ankara, as a bitter dispute between the two allies that has battered the Turkish lira showed no sign of ending.

The announcement on Wednesday came after the emir held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

Turkey has sharply raised tariffs on United States imports, including passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco.

The tit-for-tat tariffs came amid Turkey's rejection of a US demand that it release American pastor Andrew Brunson, detained on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intensified a diplomatic feud with his US counterpart Donald Trump with a spate of new import tariffs, the nation's banking regulator published new rules that have so far succeeded at lifting the lira off record lows.

A decree signed by Erdogan doubled Turkish tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent and on leaf tobacco to 60 percent.

In response, Erdogan has called for a boycott of USA electrical goods while Ankara has sharply hiked tariffs on some U.S. goods.

The decision shows Turkey giving a proportionate response to American "attacks" on the Turkish economy, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in a tweet.

The punitive steps come after Erdogan called on Turks to boycott American electronics, like the iPhone, which have in any case become a lot more expensive as the lira lost nearly 40 per cent of its value this year.

Turkey's President Erdogan is calling on his people to boycott other USA products as Turkey plunges into a financial crisis and drifts farther away from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and closer to Russian Federation.

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He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, although it was unclear how he meant to enforce the boycott. Hurriyet newspaper said the court in Izmir rejected the appeal, but that a higher court would review the appeal.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the U.S. had seen "no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong".

Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkish financial markets and banks amid the massive collapse of its currency.

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.

"There is a price we're paying for the period we're in", Erdogan said, referring to his country's plummeting currency.

"The tariffs that are in place on steel will not be removed with the release of pastor Brunson".

Turkey has meanwhile resisted pressure to release Brunson - who has been held for two years and is now under house arrest - with officials warning it could face further sanctions. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest. Turkey has accused Brunson of backing a coup attempt against Erdogan two years ago.

He said: "The State of Qatar is always proactive in supporting its Turkish brothers".

Despite the political tensions, the lira rebounded some 6 per cent on Wednesday, strengthening to around 6.0 to the dollar.

Despite the continuing stalemate and threat of further United States sanctions, the value of the Turkish Lira increased slightly on Tuesday, rising 8 percent from Monday's record low, to 6.3 Lira to the dollar. Erdogan's office said the pledge was made by Qatar's head, Al Thani.

On Monday, the USA president signed a defense authorization act that notably prohibits the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey if it buys Russia's S-400 air defense system.

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