Qatar's emir heads to Turkey for talks with Erdogan

Qatar's emir heads to Turkey for talks with Erdogan

Qatar's emir heads to Turkey for talks with Erdogan

The crisis came days after US President Donald Trump announced via Twitter a doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, as Washington pushes Ankara to release Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held on terrorism charges for almost two years.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, August 2018.

A list published in Turkey's official Gazette on Wednesday raised tariffs on tobacco products to 60 percent, spirits to 140 percent and passenger cars to 120 percent.

The tit-for-tat tariffs came amid Turkey's rejection of a USA demand that it release American pastor Andrew Brunson, detained on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

The US doubled tariffs last week over Turkey's refusal to extradite a US pastor who is imprisoned there.

Tariffs have been imposed on 22 types of produce and goods imported from the United States, amounting to $533 million U.S. of extra duties, according to a report in the state-run Anadolu Agency, quoting Rushar Pekcan, the country's trade minister.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the tariff hikes were ordered "within the framework of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious attacks on our economy by the USA administration".

The row with Washington has helped to drive the lira to record lows, with the currency losing more than 40 per cent of its value against the dollar this year, prompting central bank liquidity moves to support it.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the country of 81 million people will boycott American consumer electronics, including Apple's iPhone.

"Qatar has pledged $15 billion of direct investments in Turkey", presidential spokesman Kalin wrote on Twitter afterwards.

As a court in the western Turkish city of Izmir rejected a new appeal to free Brunson on Wednesday, spoksman Kalin said the United States needs to be respectful of the judicial procedures in Turkey.

Sanders said even if Brunson is released, USA tariffs on steel would remain.

Mr Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey since 2016, and is accused of helping to plot the 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan.

On Wednesday, the lira traded at 6.4125 to the USA dollar, weakening from a close of 6.3577 a day earlier.

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey past year, accounting for $12-billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

"We will not give in, if you come at us with your dollars then we will find other ways to do business".

Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed also praised the relations between the two countries.

The Turkish lira fell by over 45 percent against the U.S. dollar, but was trading at 6.0 to the U.S. dollar with a 5.2 percent gain on Wednesday.

On Monday, the USA president signed a defense authorization act that notably prohibits the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey if it buys Russia's S-400 air defense system.

Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency.

"They are squeezing lira liquidity out of the system now and pushing interest rates higher", said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.

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