Pastor Brunson appeal for house arrest release rejected by Turkish court

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. REUTERS  Umit Bektas  File

"Do you think the lira will gain against the dollar if Brunson is released?"

The U.S. dollar dipped against a basket of six major currencies, moving further away from its highest levels since June 2017 hit earlier this week as investors bought the U.S. currency in a flight to safety.

Trump's comments came after a court in Turkey's western Izmir province rejected an appeal to release Brunson from house arrest, saying evidence was still being collected and the pastor posed a potential flight risk, according to a copy of the court ruling seen by Reuters. A senior U.S. official told CNN that in exchange for Turkey's release of Brunson, Israel agreed to release Ebru Ozkan, a 27-year-old Turkish woman held in Israel on suspicion of aiding Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's is also scheduled to release a review of Turkey's sovereign credit rating after the market close on Friday.

Turkey retaliated with 533 million dollars (£419 million) of tariffs on some USA imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott United States electronic goods.

Turkey and the United States are now experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish Cabinet ministers for not releasing Brunson.

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

Trump, who doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, said the steel tariffs have kicked in the aluminium tariffs will take effect soon. "Would the amount of Turkey's debts decrease?"

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

Economists gave Albayrak's presentation a qualified welcome and the lira initially found some support, helped by Qatar's pledge to invest $15 billion in Turkey. Trump tweeted on Thursday.

"They have a great Christian pastor there".

He asked Mnuchin for an update on sanctions punishing Turkey for pastor Andrew Brunson's detention. Its leader lives in Pennsylvania and the US has rejected calls from Turkey to have him extradited.

Turkey's lira fell again after trade minister Ruhsar Pekcan said her government would respond to any new trade duties, which Donald Trump threatened in an overnight tweet. "That's politics", he said.

Last year, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with Bahrain and Egypt, formed a so-called Quarter which urged the Qatari government to comply with a list of demands that included severing ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in Qatar or face sanctions.

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