Trump says Turkey has acted badly in Brunson case

US dollar banknotes are seen in this

Turkey's president has said his country will stand strong against an "attempted economic coup" amid heightened tensions with the U.S.

The United States and Turkey have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs in an escalating attempt by Trump to induce Erdogan into giving up the pastor. He is facing terrorism and espionage related charges that US officials say are frivolous.

"They made up this phony charge that he's a spy", Trump said.

Yesterday, a Turkish court rejected an appeal to release Brunson from house arrest, broadcaster Haberturk said. "And Turkey has in my opinion acted very very badly. We'll see what happens". We are not going to take it sitting down.

Turkey has been pushing back against USA pressure, insisting that it will determine its own economic policies and choose its own trade partners.

"There has been no improvement in relations with the US and additional sanctions may be on the horizon", said William Jackson of Capital Economics in a note to clients, adding that the lira could see a downward trend in 2019 and beyond. After the US imposed tariffs and sanctions, Turkey fired back with tariffs of its own on a variety of goods, including cars.

A Turkish court on Friday turned down another appeal to free the pastor in the third such rejection, his lawyer said. "Many key figures, like Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, are evangelical Christians".

On Tuesday, Pence tweeted that Brunson is innocent and "justice demands that he be released". The Harley Davidson executives are said to be fuming with Trump as the company has lost some serious cash in the past three months. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party, said Thursday in Ankara, the capital.

Erdogan wrote in an op-ed last week for The New York Times: "The Turkish people expected the United States to unequivocally condemn the attack and express solidarity with Turkey's elected leadership. It is a shame", Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday.

"You had the dollar bought aggressively over the past few months when investors were risk-averse and were seeking safety in the greenback", said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in NY.

Brunson was indicted on charges of "acting in a parallel and coordinated fashion" with Turkey's two chief enemies: the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and a network run by Gülen. In a telephone call on Friday, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire discussed USA sanctions against Turkey and cooperation between their countries, Albayrak's ministry said.

But according to Middle East Eye, Turkish diplomats said they could release Brunson anyway, subject to further concessions from the United States which could soothe diplomatic tensions and helping alleviate the diplomatic and economic crisis.



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