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Getting personal: U.S., Turkish leaders feud over arrest of American pastor

Getting personal: U.S., Turkish leaders feud over arrest of American pastor”

The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, was at 5.8 against the dollar and 6.7 against euro on Friday.

A Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal to release an American pastor at the centre of a diplomatic crisis with the United States, just a day after Washington threatened more sanctions if his detention continued.

President Trump attacked Turkey Friday over its continued detention of a U.S. Christian pastor saying it had "acted very, very badly".

Relations between Turkey and the USA are at a low point over the detention of Andrew Brunson, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government accuses of being involved in an attempted coup in 2016.

President Donald Trump last week ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling USA tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

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"We've put sanctions on several of their cabinet members, working with you (President Donald Trump), we have more that we're planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin told Trump during Thursday's cabinet meeting.

Turkey is calling for the U.S.to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused engineering a 2016 coup attempt.

But according to Middle East Eye, Turkish diplomats said they could release Brunson anyway, subject to further concessions from the U.S. which could soothe diplomatic tensions and helping alleviate the diplomatic and economic crisis.

Turkey's battered lira weakened 5 percent after a court rejected Andrew Brunson's appeal for release.

His transfer to house arrest came after Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assist in Brunson's release, Israeli and United States officials told CNN at the time.

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Andrew Craig Brunson (C), an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Turkey's lira fell again after trade minister Ruhsar Pekcan said her government would respond to any new trade duties, which Donald Trump threatened in an overnight tweet. Turkey retaliated with tariffs on some US imports and said it would boycott USA electronic goods.

"There has been no improvement in relations with the US and additional sanctions may be on the horizon", said William Jackson of Capital Economics in a note to clients, adding that the lira could see a downward trend in 2019 and beyond.

Turkey has borrowed much more in foreign currencies than any other country, as a percentage of its economy, and investors question how much authority its central bank has to raise interest rates.

Turkey, in turn, criticized the prosecution in the USA of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top official at Turkey's state-controlled Halkbank who was convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions. "This is very easy to resolve", the administration official said.

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