A Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal to release an American pastor at the centre of a diplomatic crisis with the U.S., just a day after Washington threatened more sanctions if his detention continued.
The case of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical Christian missionary from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for two decades, has become a flashpoint of tension between Washington and Ankara and has accelerated a currency crisis that has richocheted through global financial markets.
The detained pastor has found himself in the middle of a diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara, which greatly escalated last week with Trump placing new tariffs on steel an aluminum imports - a move which has put significant pressure on Turkey. The U.S. government says Brunson is innocent and wants him to come home.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump prefaced Mnuchin's remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good friend to the US.
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At 1256 GMT the currency stood at 6.1050 to the dollar, 5 percent weaker. He later tweeted that the clergyman was a "great patriot" being held "hostage".
A Turkish court on Friday rejected the appeal for release filed by American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is charged with links to terrorism.
Erdogan has called for a boycott of U.S. electronic goods and Turkish media has given extensive coverage to anti-US protests, including videos circulating on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.
Turkey's economy is in deep trouble, but the broader problem has less to do with Trump's sanctions and tariffs than with Erdogan's economic mismanagement.
Dashing hopes for a quick solution to the dispute, a Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal for the pastor's release from house detention.
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Some of these experts are referring to the Qatari direct support extended by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani when he visited Turkey on Wednesday, meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and pledging to inject 15 billion dollars in direct investment in Turkey, though financial experts believe that this won't revive the Turkish currency, and will fall to new record lows.
One currency trader said Friday's lira weakness was driven by "the new US sanctions threat and the S&P decision, with position-closing in markets ahead of the public holiday".
Can Buyuker, who works in an exchange bureau in a busy Istanbul neighbourhood, said both Trump and Erdogan were playing up to nationalist voters. If they side with Turkey, they run the risk of antagonizing US President Donald Trump. He said Turkey has no plans to ask for International Monetary Fund for support with the falling lira.
Companies that for years have borrowed overseas at low interest rates have seen their cost of servicing foreign debt rise by a quarter in lira terms in two months.
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