Erdogan says US set deadline for pastor’s release

President Trump's announcement Friday morning that he has authorized the doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports coming from Turkey came in a tweet that noted, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 on charges of being an American spy and terrorist complicit in the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in the summer of 2016.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on August 9 that the United States would define progress in relations with Turkey with Brunson's return to the United States.

Mr Erdogan had on Saturday described interest rates as a "tool of exploitation", in remarks that may not be warmly welcomed by the markets. "You prefer a pastor to a strategic ally of yours in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

Addressing for the first time on Friday to a rally of his supporters, he said, "If they have dollars, we have our people, we have our right and we have Allah!"

"Those who assume they can bring us to our knees through economic manipulations don't know our nation at all", he said.

The lira sell-off has deepened worries particularly about whether over-indebted firms will be able to pay back loans taken out in euros and dollars after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom, Reuters reported.

He also advised them to show solidarity by converting any stashed-away gold or foreign currency to Turkish lira in a bid to wage a "war of independence" against America.

And in the New York Times?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday slammed the crash of the lira amid a widening spat with the United States as a "political plot" and said his country would instead seek new markets and new allies.

On July 26, Trump announced that he would hit Turkey with "large sanctions" if it continued to hold Brunson, adding "This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!" "Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

The two sides seemed to have failed to resolve the deadlock though bilateral talks in Washington earlier this week during the visit of a Turkish delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and made up of officials from Turkey's justice, finance and foreign ministries.

What are the other issues of disagreement?

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the U.S. that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

Iran has also suffered a major tumbling of its currency this year partly over the reimposition of U.S. sanctions after Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal. The US has refused to extradite Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania. He also stressed that there are no politicians or countries around the globe that would succeed by pursuing a hostile policy towards Turkey.

It is unclear how that would justify higher tariffs on Turkey but not other countries.

It's an awkward triangle, given that Turkey is a Nato member, Russian Federation is Nato's number one threat and the organisation is obliged to defend any member that is attacked.

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

What were the latest USA measures?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sharply criticized the United States decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, calling the move as an "operation" and portraying the plunge in the Turkish currency's value as an "economic war" against Turkey.

  • Joey Payne