Erdogan slams U.S. for preferring terrorists as partner

MORNING BID EUROPE-Turkey's crisis is starting to spread

Lira extends slide as Erdogan says Turkey in economic war - The Jakarta Post

Trump stated in an inflammatory tweet that the Turkish lira was weak against "our very strong dollar", adding that "US relations with Turkey are not good at this time".

Hoping to put pressure on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally to free the pastor, the White House sanctioned two top Turkish government officials.

Erdogan said Turkey would turn towards new markets, new partners and alternative financial tools.

On Saturday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the USA that it could lose a "strategic partner", declaring a rally: "We only bow before God". U.S. stocks were also rattled.

President Donald Trump broke the news on social media that he authorized the doubling of existing steel and aluminum duties on imports from Turkey.

The White House said Mr Trump had authorised them under a section of USA trade law that allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

It came as a Turkish delegation returned from the United States, reporting no progress on negotiations involving a USA pastor imprisoned in Turkey.

Erdogan also hit back at U.S. authorities for convicting Mehmet Hakan Atilla, 47, deputy director general of Turkish lender Halkbank on charges of helping Iran evade USA sanctions on billions of dollars of oil proceeds.

Last week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice minister and interior minister for refusing to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been in custody since 2016 on charges of terrorism and espionage that Washington says are bogus.

The lira sell-off deepened concern over whether over-indebted Turkish companies will be able to pay back loans taken out in euros and dollars after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Erdogan.

"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

In an op-ed published in New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk its relations with Ankara, saying otherwise it would look for "new friends and allies". "Don't heed them. Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", Erdogan said.

"They have been trying to achieve what they failed to do through provocations and a coup attempt with money now", he said.

Andrew Brunson has been in Turkish custody since 2016, when he was arrested on charges of terrorism and support of a group held responsible for an attempted coup of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gulen has denied the allegation.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump who is also representing Brunson's family, told talk-show host and political commentator Sean Hannity's radio program on Friday: "We're close to getting a resolution in that case".

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