Turkish lira rallies as Qatar makes $15 bil. loan pledge

Turkish lira rallies as Qatar makes $15 bil. loan pledge

Turkish lira rallies as Qatar makes $15 bil. loan pledge

Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports over the continued detention of an American pastor on espionage and terror-related charges.

The lira had nosedived in recent weeks, hitting a record low of 7.24 earlier this week, amid a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States that has exacerbated investor concerns over Turkey's economy.

A slide in the value of the Turkish lira turned into a rout last Friday when US President Donald Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Turkey.

"It was important to do it because the WTO goes to meetings twice per month, if we couldn't complete it, we will wait more 15 days".

Tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained amid Turkey's detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

The lira has lost almost 40 per cent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Mr Erdogan's growing control over the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkish financial markets and banks amid the massive collapse of its currency.

The plight of Brunson has dominated the Trump administration's policy toward its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, even as the dispute roils currency markets.

Turkey Europe
Turkey is beset by a weak currency and tension with the United States

"In response to deliberated and continued trade tensions, Turkey has again raised tariffs on key USA imports", Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said in a statement.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 and moved to house arrest in July.

Turkey and the USA have been locked in a heated crisis emanating from unjust sanctions and the actions of Trump, as Washington levied sanctions on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

"The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

"Turkey has alternatives", he said. "The tariffs are specific to national security", she said.

He also declared on Monday that the USA was seeking "stab" Turkey in the back.

According to the Turkish presidential press office, Erdogan and al-Thani also exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional developments during their three-hour meeting.

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court ruled on August 15 to release from jail Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

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