Lira takes another hit as USA pastor loses appeal

White House Calls On Turkey to Release American Pastor Andrew Brunson

Debt rating downgrades typically mean higher borrowing costs as investors demand steeper interest rates to take on riskier debt.

A detained American pastor has become a symbol of a growing rift between Turkey and the United States, but problems in the Cold War-era alliance as well as Turkey's own financial crisis are unlikely to dissipate even if he is released and Washington eases economic penalties.

Earlier on Wednesday, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said the USA side would consider lifting sanctions that have been placed on Turkey if Ankara released Brunson and other detained US citizens.

Brunson was charged with terror offenses by a Turkish court and has been held since October 2016.

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". "They can't take our people".

The Trump administration has threatened to levy more sanctions against Turkey, a move that has rattled the nation's financial markets. Turkey, meanwhile, is frustrated by the refusal of the extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused by Turkish authorities of engineering a 2016 coup attempt.

Dashing hopes for a quick solution to the dispute, a Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal for the evangelical pastor's release from house detention. On Friday, a high court in Izmir upheld the decision of a lower court to keep Brunson under house arrest and maintain his travel ban.

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Instead, Turkey's trade minister said Friday that the country would retaliate against any new tariffs or sanctions implemented by the U.S.

The lira, which has lost some 40 percent of its value this year, weakened beyond 6.21 against the USA dollar after the news, from 6.04 beforehand.

The currency has recovered from record lows earlier this week.

These countries are now in a crisis in bilateral relations after the arrest by the Turkish authorities of the American pastor Andrew Brunson, accused of terrorism and espionage for his alleged involvement in the attempted coup d'état of July 15, 2016.

"They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage".

"We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!"

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