Turkish president: U.S. set deadline to release detained pastor

Turkish president: U.S. set deadline to release detained pastor

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was responding to a drop in the value of the Turkish currency, the lira, against the US dollar following the imposition of sanctions and tariffs by the United States in the past two weeks.

The news comes as tensions between the United States and Turkey continue to grow over the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally's continued detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Saturday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose additional tariffs on Turkey.

All eyes will be on the lira when foreign exchange markets reopen on Monday after the weekend pause.

'We are once again facing a political, underhand plot. "With God's permission we will overcome this", he added. The currency is currently down 13.5% against the USA dollar, after a brief 20% fall, resulting from a Trump tweet that declared, "Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%", and concluded: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

Erdogan appeared to indicate that the entire alliance between Turkey - which joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952 with strong American backing - and Washington was at stake.

"You dare to sacrifice 81-million Turkey for a priest who is linked to terror groups?" Trump has described his detention as a "total disgrace" and urged Erdogan to free him immediately. In response to Turkey's tightening embrace of Russia, Congress slapped a hold on delivery of F-35s to the Turkish air force, for fear that the Russians would be invited to examine the world's most advanced stealth warplane.

In Trabzon, Erdogan confirmed media reports that Washington gave Onal's delegation a deadline for the release of Brunson.

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Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by United States forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s.

Writing on Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

The nominally independent central bank has defied pressure over the last few weeks to hike interest rates in the face of high inflation and a collapsing currency.

And the Brunson case is just one of many bones of contention between Turkey and the United States, ranging from Syria to Ankara's increasingly cosy relationship with Moscow.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to sell their gold and dollars to support the crumbling lira.

"You arrest my Halkbank general deputy director?"

"The issue that global investors now need to take into consideration is that the recipe for a currency crisis in Turkey is now presenting a risk of a contagion knock-on effect across other markets", Ahmad said.

Without naming any country, Erdogan said that those - who stand against Turkey for the sake of small calculations - would pay the price.

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