Court rejects appeal for American pastor's release from detention, Turkish media says

Turkey braces for hard times amid currency crisis US spat

Turkey has been rocked in recent days by a sharp decline in the value of its lira after US President Donald Trump tweeted last Friday that Washington was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Ankara.

The White House stance appeared to give Turkish authorities little incentive to work for the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges and whose case Turkish officials have always said was a matter for the courts.

Earlier in the day, the currency had shrugged off USA comments ruling out the removal of steel tariffs on Turkey even if it frees an American pastor who lies at the centre of the complex feud between Washington and Ankara.

Erdogan has called on people to support the weakened lira by exchanging gold and foreign currency, citing an "economic war" being waged against Turkey.

She wouldn't be drawn on whether the Trump administration would respond.

Tourists line up to enter at a Louis Vuitton store in Istanbul on Monday.

The United States on Wednesday ruled out removing steel tariffs that have contributed to a currency crisis in Turkey if Ankara frees a USA pastor, as Qatar pledged US$15 billion in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira.

Turkey's new tariffs follow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call on Tuesday for a boycott of US electronics including Apple Inc.'s iPhones to retaliate for the Trump administration's punitive actions over the past few weeks to pressure Turkey into releasing an evangelical Christian minister, Andrew Brunson.

The Turkish government said tariffs on American cars will be doubled to 120 percent while those on alcoholic drinks will be hiked by the same rate to 140 percent.

Investors have been pulling out of Turkey's markets, sending its stock market and currency plunging.

The turmoil has raised fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey and prompted alarm that foreign investors in the country, including Qatar, could be hit in the fallout.

Cevdet Erdol, president of the Health Sciences University in Istanbul, urged Turks to boycott USA tobacco products and "to stop smoking altogether", according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

It was supported by news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure investors concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate hikes to tackle double-digit inflation.

It said the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep has halted imports of American brands and products.

Amnesty International says a court in Istanbul has ruled for the release from prison of the rights group's former Turkey chairman.

Qatar poured funds into the country the same day Turkey doubled tariffs on some US imports, such as cars, alcohol and tobacco, one day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of iPhones.

"As they are taking relations with Turkey to a breaking point for one pastor, we have yet to see either the Obama or the Trump administration take any concrete steps towards Turkey's rightful and urgent national security matters", Kalın claimed.

'We are a fending off this economic coup attempt with the wisdom of the Turkish nation and the leadership of our president, ' Fahrettin Altun, the president's communications director wrote on Twitter. A lower court rejected the appeal on Wednesday, but Brunson's lawyer suggested to CBS News that he still had hope the higher court would reverse that decision.

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