In fight for Brunson, U.S. squeezes Turkish economy
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/10/18, 11:52 am
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced additional tariffs on Turkey to punish the NATO ally for its continued detention of American Pastor Andrew Brunson. The announcement of the latest tariffs caused further damage to Turkish currency, which already had hit a record low Friday. Trump said tariffs on Turkish aluminum imports will increase to 20 percent, and steel tariffs will rise to 50 percent. The latest sanctions come after high-level meetings this week between U.S. and Turkish officials failed to yield any resolution to Brunson’s case. Brunson, who is now under house arrest and still facing terror- and espionage-related charges, is awaiting a continuation of his trial on Oct. 12.
Turkey’s lira hit a record low of 6.24 per U.S. dollar on Friday and then recovered to 5.92, which is still down by 7 percent from the day before. Turkey announced that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday spoke over the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about economic ties in the face of U.S. sanctions on both countries. On Thursday, Erdogan painted his country as a victim of a targeted campaign by the United States: “If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.