Erdogan says U.S. set deadline for pastor's release

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stood by his opposition to high interest rates on Sunday despite sharp falls in the country's currency, saying the lira's weakness did not reflect the Turkey's economic realities.

Trump pointed out on Twitter that the lira was not doing well, but one of Erdogan's economic advisers, Yigit Bulut, responded that the sell-off in the lira had caused $300 billion in losses in the USA stock market.

Washington had already imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers earlier this month and on Friday President Donald Trump announced a doubling of USA tariffs of Turkish steel and aluminium, saying, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" He denies the charges. It is wrong to try to punish Turkey for a priest who is here.

Relations between Turkey and the USA have been tense over a range of issues, from the Syrian conflict to the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey's President Erdogan's speech next on tap.

A Turkish delegation visited Washington for talks this week but left with no signs of a breakthrough. "On Friday, some of his ministers took to Twitter with the hashtag "#kazanacagiz", meaning "we will win".

In Rize, Erdogan said the U.S. would pay a price by challenging Turkey for the sake of "petty calculations", denouncing Washington for declaring "economic war on the entire world" and holding countries "for ransom through sanction threats".

Washington "must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical", he said in the opinion piece.

Erdogan says U.S. set deadline for pastor's release
Erdogan says U.S. set deadline for pastor's release

Trump's announcement came shortly after President Erdogan called on Turks to help defend the country against the US-launched economic war against his nation.

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Friday, Erdogan criticized the tensions with the USA, saying a "failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

Turkey then retaliated by slapping import duties on $1.78 billion worth of USA products, including coal, paper, nuts, whiskey, autos, machinery and petrochemicals.

Another source of frustration relates to the partnership between the United States and the Syrian branch of the P.K.K., a terrorist organization that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Turkish citizens since 1984. Gulen has denied the allegation.

Brunson was first detained in Turkey in 2016 on the charge of involvement in a failed coup attempt against Erdogan's government.

His cause resonates with Trump's Christian conservative supporters, who could be influential as Republicans seek to retain control of Congress in midterm elections in November.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.

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