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USA threatens more Turkey sanctions if pastor not freed

A decree by Erdogan doubled Turkish tariffs on imports of US passenger cars to 120 per cent alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and leaf tobacco to 60 per cent

The White House has said that Turkey's tariff hikes on USA products in retaliation for sanctions against Ankara were "regrettable" and again called for the immediate release of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, N.C., shown in Izmir, Turkey, on July 25.

The lira crisis has deepened concerns about the broader economy - particularly Turkey's dependence on energy imports and whether foreign-currency debt levels pose a risk to the banking sector.

The lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, sparking a sell-off in emerging market currencies and weighing on global stocks.

US President Donald Trump Mr Trump announced on Twitter last week that he had authorised a doubling of duties on aluminium and steel imported from Turkey, putting unprecedented economic pressure on Ankara. It's not clear how much more they'd be willing to contribute if the USA just keeps making things worse.

During a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Trump had harsh words for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally saying, "They have not proven to be a good friend". Referring to imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson, Trump said "they have a great Christian pastor there, he's a very innocent man".

By retaliating against the U.S., Bayrasli said that Turkey will give the perception that its cutting itself off from the largest economy in the world, which will be bad for Turkey's financial markets and growing businesses.

The United States and Turkey have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs in an escalating attempt by Trump to induce Erdogan into giving up the pastor.

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesperson for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said France and Germany are standing with Turkey in the rift with the US.

USA authorities have rebuffed efforts by Turkey for the extradition of Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

"It is a shame", Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday.

In the Turkish courts, Brunson has been unsuccessful in arguing for his release, and on Friday had his latest appeal rejected, according to The Associated Press.

Erdogan has remained defiant in the face of the crisis with Washington, saying Turkey could turn to new alternative markets.

Kristina Arriaga, vice chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, recently returned from Turkey.

The White House has said there could be more economic measures against Turkey if Brunson is not released.

Ankara, for its part, wants Washington to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric based in Pennsylvania who Turkish authorities say orchestrated the 2016 coup attempt in which 250 people lost their lives.

Investors said Albayrak's conference call would test whether Turkey can persuade markets that its monetary policy is not hostage to political influence.

Turkey's finance minister sparked a recovery in the lira yesterday after he addressed thousands of worldwide investors on a conference call.