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Qatar pledges $15 billion to Turkey as lira rallies

16 August, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Turkey news: Erdogan rages at Trump 'economic warfare' over sanctions | Daily Star

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree Wednesday to raise tariffs on us imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports. Turkey, a secular nation, has been a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation since the 1950s and has been an important American ally.

Markets have been concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

Turkey said Wednesday it is increasing tariffs on imports of certain USA products, including rice, cars, alcohol and coal - escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.

In a Wednesday phone conversation with Erdogan, the German chancellor expressed her country's commitment to strengthening its cooperation with Turkey through reciprocal visits at the highest levels, Turkey's Anadolu Agency quoted presidential sources as saying.

Erdoğan and Trump are locked in a dispute about the United States pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested nearly two years ago and accused of plotting against the Turkish government.

The announcement follows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call for a boycott of USA electronics, including Apple's iPhones to counter Trump's actions to ramp up pressure on Turkey to release Brunson.

Erdogan's appointment of his own son-in-law as Finance Minister, following his electoral victory in June, was "the final straw for worldwide investors", Foreign Policy reported, citing Aaron Stein of the Atlantic Council.

Tariffs on cosmetics, rice and coal were also increased.

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A senior official says a series of measures aimed at shoring up the Turkish currency are taking effect and that he expects the improvements to continue. "The central bank has not done this through a change in the benchmark rates, but they are squeezing liquidity, so the result is the same", he said.

"Significantly more than just official promises of action are needed to exit the current crisis", said Andy Birch, principal economist at IHS Markit, calling for "a sharp central bank rate rise". Turkey's exports to the U.S.in 2017 amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey's fifth-largest export market.

On Wednesday, a court in Izmir, where Brunson is on trial, rejected his appeal to be released from house arrest.

A Turkish court has rejected an appeal for United States Christian pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges.

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court ruled on Wednesday to release from jail Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, the man detained in Turkey on terror-related charges and espionage, and who is one of the reasons for the economic hostilities against Turkey by the United States, has filed a fresh appeal for freedom.

Businessmen holding US dollars stand in front of a currency exchange office in response to the call of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings to support the lira, in Ankara, Turkey Aug. 14, 2018.

On Tuesday, he said Turkey would boycott USA electronic products.

On Tuesday, he said Turkey would boycott U.S. electronic products.

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