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Fresh US sanctions loom large in Turkey's future as US pastor's appeal rejected

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Friday 17 Aug 2018

Fresh US sanctions loom large in Turkey's future as US pastor's appeal rejected

(Sharecast News) - US pastor Andrew Brunson has seen his latest bid for freedom rejected by a Turkish appeals court, increasing the likelihood of a fresh wave of sanctions from the Trump administration.
Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey for almost two years under accusations of playing a role in an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but Bloomberg has reported that the pastor may appeal the latest decision.

The news comes after US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin told a cabinet meeting on Thursday that the US was ready to slap Turkey with fresh sanctions "if they don't release him quickly".

The lira, which has now lost around a third of its value since January, weakened again after the ruling.

Erdoğan has accused the US of trying to "bring Turkey to its knees" with sanctions in response to the crisis after the Trump administration doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium last week.

But further tariffs look increasingly likely as Mnuchin's comments echo those of President Trump, who stated on Thursday that Turkey has "not proven to be a good friend".

The President claimed that the July release of Turkish citizen Ebru Ozkan, who had been arrested under suspicion of working with Hamas, from Israeli detention had been part of a deal to secure Brunson's release.

If more sanctions are brought in then renewed weakness in the lira could have a knock on effect as South Africa's rand, Russia's rouble, the Indian rupee and Indonesia's rupiah have already taken a hit from the crisis in Turkey.

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