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Erdogan says United States set deadline for pastor's release

13 August 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned the USA that it risked losing a "strategic partner" due to demands made by the U.S. government that Turkey release an American pastor who was arrested on terrorism charges.

"Hopefully we will overcome this disaster and we will also successfully overcome this economic war", Erdogan said.

Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency. It hit a record low after Trump announced he had authorised higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20% on aluminium and 50% on steel.

As the currency continued to fall, United States President Donald Trump announced on Friday he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally before admitting that relations between Washington and Ankara were "not very good".

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

ISTANBUL, Aug 11 (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan denied on Saturday that Turkey is in a currency crisis, dismissing a plunge in the lira as "fluctuations" which have nothing to do with economic fundamentals.

Turkey came in sixth place among the countries the USA imported steel from previous year, while Turkish steel's share was 7 percent of total US steel imports.

We look the issue straining relations between the United States and Turkey.

Although Erdogan struck a defiant tone, his foreign ministry called for diplomacy and dialogue to solve problems with Washington and Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said "we implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table".

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He said Turkey's response was not going to be based on "reciprocity", adding: "Those who commit a crime will pay a price".

Speaking to supporters in Trabzon on the Black Sea coast, Mr. Erdogan dismissed suggestions that Turkey was in a financial crisis such as those seen in Asia two decades ago, dampening expectations of a rate increase to support the currency.

But Erdogan indicated he was in no mood to offer concessions to the United States, or financial markets.

Ties between Turkey and the USA started breaking down after a coup attempt in July 15, 2016, allegedly staged by Pastor Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in the United States under protection of the government as a U.S. citizen.

Erdoğan had warned Saturday that Turkey would start looking for new friends if the USA continued with its unilateral actions against a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, in a diplomatic row that has sent Ankara and Washington relations to a new low.

Turkey will "never accept the order, which declares war against the whole world", through the threats of sanctions, he said, referring to the U.S.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

The latest escalation between Ankara and Washington was denounced by the Turkish press, with pro-government daily Sabah saying "the currency attack" was no different from the attempted coup of July 2016.

Erdogan says United States set deadline for pastor's release