Turkey says it will help firms hit by turmoil

16 August, 2018, 11:32 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Women stand next to a billboard giving currencies rates in a street of Istanbul on August 13

President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports to the United States last week prompting Turkey, which says it will not bow to threats, to raise tariffs on USA cars, alcohol and tobacco by the same amount on Wednesday.

Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced the package while meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday.

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.

Relations between the two NATO allies have plummeted in one of their worst crises in decades as Trump tries to secure the release of Brunson, an evangelical pastor from North Carolina being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges. Ankara more than doubled the tariff on U.S. rice to 50%, increased the USA coal tariff to 14% from 10% and more than tripled the tariff on cars to 120%.

The duties were raised in response to the USA administration's "deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

Mr Erdogan responded on Tuesday by announcing that his country will boycott US-made electronic goods such as iPhones and will buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel instead.

Qatar's banking sector has considerable exposure to Turkey, whose currency has lost almost 40 percent this year.

Trump has repeatedly asked for Brunson's release, while Ankara said the decision was up to the court.

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The visit came hours after Brunson's lawyer appealed to a court for his release and for a travel ban against him to be lifted.

The U.S. Congress, in its 2019 defense policy bill, which Trump signed into law on Monday, prohibited the delivery of F-35s to Turkey until the Pentagon submits an impact assessment on U.S. military operations involving Incirlik Air Base and U.S.

USA pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, escorted by Turkish plainclothes police officers, arrives at his house on July 25, 2018, in Izmir. Germany, France and the United Kingdom together with European Union institutions have already taken strong measures against US sanctions on Iran and declared that Brussels and member states will not let Washington put pressure on European Union companies. Bonds fell, pushing the yield on 10-year notes up nine basis points to 21.46 per cent.

"We are going to continue to call on Turkey to do the right thing and release those individuals".

Short positions on Turkish sovereign debt have jumped by $1 billion since the start of the year while lenders Halkbank, Akbank and Yapi Kredi top the list of most-shorted stocks in the country, data provider IHS Markit said on Tuesday.

It also said that until markets "normalize", it would temporarily stop applying the effect of day-to-day losses on the securities held by banks to their capital adequacy ratios.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on Wednesday and stood at 6.030 at 1758 GMT.

On Wednesday, a Turkish court rejected an appeal for Brunson's release.


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