Court rejects appeal for American pastor's release from detention, Turkish media says

Qatar has close ties with Turkey whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen here being welcomed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha

Turkey announced on Wednesday it was working to increase tariffs on imports of some U.S. products, which led to escalating dispute with the United States, provoking the Turkish currency to record a new historic low.

The White House said on Wednesday that it would not remove steel tariffs on Turkey, appearing to give Ankara little incentive to work for the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal to boycott USA electronic products on Tuesday, Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on some U.S. imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco, state-run Anadolu agency quoted Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan as saying on Wednesday.

The Turkish central bank has pledged to take "all necessary measures" to stabilize the country's economy to make sure the banks have all the money they need.

The lira hit a record low of 7.24 to the dollar this week after losing almost half its value this year, as investors fretted over Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and a dispute with the United States.

Brunson is at the center of a diplomatic spat between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the United States, which has helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis.

The lira's weakness has rippled through global markets.

Turkey announced Wednesday increased duties on USA products including cars, tobacco and alcohol in retaliation to US sanctions and tariffs on Turkey in an on-going feud over the detention of an American pastor. Brunson is now on trial and held on house arrest, with few indications that Turkish officials intend to comply with the demands - despite USA sanctions that were leveled against them two weeks ago.

Earlier in the day, the currency had shrugged off US comments ruling out the removal of steel tariffs on Turkey even if it frees an American pastor who lies at the center of the complex feud between Washington and Ankara.

Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency.

Although he was released to home detention, Brunson faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted on both counts at the end of his ongoing trial. "The sanctions, however, that have been placed on Turkey are specific to pastor Brunson and others that we feel are being held unfairly, and we would consider that at that point".

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Hasan Koni, who teaches worldwide relations at Istanbul Kultur University, thinks breaking ties with the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would place Turkey under Moscow's sway.

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

It chose to release two Greek soldiers from prison on Tuesday. Cavusoglu said ties with the bloc, which have been strained in recent years, were on a firmer basis and had started normalising. When U.S. rates are higher, investors feel less need to head to emerging markets in search of higher returns.

"Rates have gone up by 10 percent".

Turkey's central bank has promised to provide banks with liquidity.

"Turkey has alternatives", he said.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak assured worldwide investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from its currency crisis, insisting that the country's banks were healthy and strong. In return, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on American imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

Administration sources says further sanctions against Turkey are under active consideration. Turkey's exports to the United States, its fifth-largest export market, were US$8.7 billion.

The pastor was released for house arrest on July 25.

Mr Trump has repeatedly asked for Brunson's release. A lower court rejected the appeal on Wednesday, but Brunson's lawyer suggested to CBS News that he still had hope the higher court would reverse that decision. While many in the country believe the crisis is the fault of the US, even though experts have been warning of danger signs in the economy for months, Williams says some Turks do blame authoritarian President Erdogan for the crisis.

One Ankara resident, Aydin Cavus, said consumer prices are "normal right now" while another shopper said inflation was hitting hard, reflecting mixed impressions about the looming impact of Turkey's financial challenges.

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