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

Andrew Brunson centre was released from prison but put under house arrest last month. If found guilty he faces 35 years in jail

Andrew Brunson centre was released from prison but put under house arrest last month. If found guilty he faces 35 years in jailMUSTAFA KOPRULU EPA

Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 per cent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and on leaf tobacco to 60 per cent. On Wednesday, Turkey increased tariffs on USA cars, alcohol and cigarettes, after President Recep Tayyip Erodgan's calls for a boycott of American consumer goods a day earlier.

The White House said on Tuesday President Donald Trump was frustrated that Turkey had not released Brunson.

The BBC Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen said Mr Erdogan's boycott could stoke tensions with the United States further - and Turks are waiting nervously for Mr Trump's response. "The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

Turkey entered into an understanding to the Russian defense system despite being a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, and has been increasingly cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, alarming both the USA and EU.

Yet Erdogan is opposed to raising Turkey's own interest rates, despite the measures of the industrialized democracies and an inflation rate in Turkey of almost 16 percent.

As Erdogan sought to cushion the impact of the crisis on Turkey's economy, he reached out to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for possible assistance and won a promise from Qatar's emir to invest $15 billion.

"In times when the dollar has been turned into a tool for political punishment, we will continue to strongly take steps to protect the lira in global trade".

'The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the USA administration's deliberate attacks on our economy, ' Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter. The cost of insuring Turkey's sovereign debt against default - already higher than Pakistan and Greece - increased as the standoff between Turkey and the US worsened.

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"The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interests, theirs are out of retaliation", she noted, refusing to reveal US further actions to respond to Ankara's statement.

Washington's move came during an ongoing dispute over Turkey's holding of an American pastor for two years on charges of military espionage and spying for terror groups.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also made clear that the United States had no plan to remove the steel tariffs if Brunson were released though it could remove those imposed on two senior Turkish officials.

"The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interests. We've already seen settlements in national currencies between Russian Federation and the BRICS", he said, referring to the bloc that also includes Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

He is scheduled to appear before a court in October for his third hearing after the court rejected an appeal for his release in a July 18 hearing.

The Turkish lira rebounded some six per cent on Wednesday after the central bank squeezed lira liquidity in the market, effectively pushing up rates and supporting the currency.

"Rates have gone up by 10 percent". The sanctions have sent the Turkish lira into a tailspin.

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