Trump Says U.S. Won't Pay Turkey for Pastor's Release

Daniel Fowler
August 17, 2018

Almost 10 million people use USA iPhones in Turkey, press reports said, adding that the amount paid for the products hit 7 billion dollars in 10 years.

Three big companies operating in Dogubank, a trade center specialized in the sales of electronic products in central Istanbul, suspended 50 million US dollars' worth of iPhone orders, the Turkish daily said.

The row with Washington has helped 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.

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

The White House is sending a clear message to Turkey that it must release American pastor Andrew Brunson to ease the growing tensions between the two countries.

Brunson, who has been living in Turkey for more than two decades, was accused of helping supporters of the US -based Fethullah Gülen who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.

Last month, at Brunson's third court hearing in almost two years, USA officials thought they had brokered a deal to free him by pressuring Israel to release a Turkish citizen imprisoned there. They want to hold our wonderful pastor. We are not going to take it sitting down.

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"We have responded to (US sanctions) in accordance to World Trade Organisation rules and will continue to do so", Ms Pekcan told reporters on Friday. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey! "They can't take our people".

Ankara has accused Brunson of being linked to the Gulen movement, which it says was responsible for the failed coup attempt in 2016.

Mr Brunson has denied charges of espionage, but faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty. Both Brunson and top U.S. officials say the accusations are false.

He said he was also considering an appeal to Turkey's constitutional court.

Mr Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, said the country's banks were healthy and strong and the nation would not be turning to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

The Trump administration has already sanctioned two Turkish leaders over the pastor's imprisonment.

The lira lost strength after Mr Mnuchin's remarks.

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