Turkish lira rallies as Ankara increases tariffs on USA imports

Turkey's currency has recently plummeted to record lows against the US dollar

According to a presidential decree released on Wednesday, the tariffs on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal have been raised to 100 percent while those on alcoholic drinks, passenger cars and leaf tobacco have reached 140, 120 and 60 percent, respectively.

Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın highlighted Wednesday that Turkey favors a multilateral and free economic system in cooperation with eurozone countries and its neighbors as opposed to the protectionist approach of the US administration.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 14, 2018.

The crisis came days after US President Donald Trump announced a doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, as Washington pushes Ankara to release Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held on terrorism charges for almost two years.

"If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the USA had seen "no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong".

The U.S.is an important trading partner of Turkey but it is not the only one; our country has several partners and alternative markets, Pekcan said.

The currency has now stabilized at around 6.50 lira against the dollar.

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Erdogan also said Turkey was boycotting United States electronic products.

The dispute between the USA and Turkey has started an economic crisis in Turkey that has pushed its currency to historic lows. Trump's top national security aide warned Turkey's ambassador on Monday that the USA has nothing further to negotiate until Brunson is freed, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Erdoğan and Trump are locked in a dispute about the United States pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested nearly two years ago and accused of plotting against the Turkish government. On Wednesday, a Turkish court in the Aegean province of Izmir, where Brunson is on trial, rejected the pastor's appeal to be released from house arrest.

Erdogan has reacted to the financial instability by blaming foreign powers, in particularly the United States, a long-time North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, which he says is waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm Turkey. While Turkey's central bank has raised lending rates by 500 basis points this year to 17.75 per cent, it hasn't acted since the latest turmoil began with US sanctions on the interior and justice ministers on August 1.

Leading Turkish business groups have warned that tighter monetary policy is needed to stabilise the Turkish lira and disputes should be resolved via diplomacy, Hurriyet Daily News has reported. The Turkish vice president says it's a response to Washington's "deliberate attacks" on the country's economy.

The lira rebounded some 8 per cent on Tuesday, helped by news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure global investors.

Kalin further iterated on Wednesday that Turkey will continue talks with the United States if it shows a constructive stance to resolve a diplomatic rift.

Lavrov, alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, also declared, "We are at a turning point, without exaggeration, in world history" from dominance by a single power toward a multipolar environment.

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