U.S. threatens new sanctions, Turkey vows to respond

Turkish President Erdogan meets with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani in Ankara

Image Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with the emir of Qatar

President Trump is ramping his attacks up on Turkey, claiming the country has taken advantage of the USA for many years.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on August 15 and stood at 6.1320 at 8:43 ET in a move initially triggered by the Turkish court decision on the Greek soldiers who faced espionage charges.

Earlier in the session, the bullion fell as much as 1.2 per cent to $1,159.96, its lowest since January 2017.

A Turkish court has rejected an appeal to release Andrew Brunson, a United States pastor at the centre of a dispute between Ankara and Washington.

"We got somebody out for him", Trump said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey and Qatar - which is also a very close U.S. ally - have become close economic and political partners in recent times. "He's a very innocent man", Trump said.

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"We have more that we're planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said when asked by President Trump at a Cabinet meeting for an update on USA sanctions on Turkish officials.

"They can't take our people", the president said, calling Brunson a "wonderful Christian pastor". United States officials maintain there is no credible evidence against Brunson, and the Trump administration has negotiated for weeks to secure his release.

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence affirmed that the Trump administration would continue its efforts on behalf of Brunson, according to Kurdistan24. He demanded Brunson's release, saying "they can't take our people".

Brunson is being held on terrorism charges, which he denies.

US and Turkey relations have been souring, after President Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum in response to his continued imprisonment. Both Brunson and top United States officials say the accusations are false.

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Erdogan has said 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 currency.

Brunson has been detained in Turkey for nearly two years for his alleged involvement in a failed coup against Erdogan's regime.

The dispute over Mr Brunson and other frictions between Washington and Ankara have been one reason the Turkish lira has plunged 40 percent this year. Investors also fret over Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

The lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his refusal to raise interest rates despite high inflation.

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