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White House Calls On Turkey to Release American Pastor Andrew Brunson

White House Calls On Turkey to Release American Pastor Andrew Brunson

Pastor Brunson, an evangelical from North Carolina, was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage.

Turkey's lira, meanwhile, dropped nearly 3 percent to almost 6 per dollar again, having recovered ground rapidly in recent days.

"We have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members", Mnuchin told President Donald Trump in a cabinet meeting attended by the press, including AFP.

Mr Erdogan is angry that the USA has not taken more action against the Gulenist movement and what he said was a failure "to unequivocally condemn" the 2016 coup attempt.

The president sounded off on the detainment of pastor Andrew Brunson saying he is now asking him to represent our country as a great patriot hostage, in a fiery tweet Thursday.

The threat comes as Turkey sought to reassure investors rattled by the sanctions-fueled crash of the Turkish lira, insisting the country would emerge stronger.

On Wednesday, in retaliation, Turkey increased tariffs on several USA -origin products, including alcohol and tobacco products and cars.

Escalating tensions on trade between the United States and some of its largest trading partners had driven traders to sell emerging market currencies and take to the safety of the US currency.

The unnamed source added that they had agreed that their finance ministers - Berat Albayrak and Bruno Le Maire - would meet "as soon as possible", and that Mr Macron had told Mr Erdogan that Turkey's economic stability was "important" for France.

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Dollar banknotes are seen in this photo illustration taken February 12, 2018.

"It is a shame", Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday.

Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet late Thursday: "We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!"

Indeed, the stakes are high for Turkey, as the country's economic problems extend well beyond the current crisis with the U.S.

Turkey's trade minister, Ruhsar Pekcan, said her government would respond to any new trade duties.

Earlier on Friday, a Turkish court rejected another appeal to free United States pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention has sparked a major crisis in Ankara's ties with Washington, his lawyer said. Ankara also wanted Washington to hand over Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania and who Turkey suspects of plotting the coup against Erdogan.

"He's in a terribly risky situation because the Brunsons are portrayed in the Turkish press as people who are against the state of Turkey", she told CBN News.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in its note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion.

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