Turkey doubles tariffs for goods import from U.S.

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Tensions between the USA and Turkey have been steadily rising since American pastor Andrew Brunson was detained by Turkish officials on charges of terrorism and espionage.

A dispute between the US and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey continued today with the Turkish president sounding defiant about the latest sanctions from Washington.

A decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the tariffs on cars to 120%, on alcoholic drinks to 140% and on leaf tobacco to 60%.

Turkey said Wednesday it is increasing tariffs on imports of certain US products, including rice, cars, alcohol and coal - escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.

The Turkish lira has strengthened more than 3% today, ahead of a presentation by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak to investors, shrugging off USA comments ruling out the removal of steel tariffs on Turkey even if it frees a U.S. pastor.

In response to the worsening relations between Turkey and the US, President Erdogan has called for a boycott of American-made electronics goods.

"Turkey is not in favor of an economic war, but we can not remain with no reaction if there is an attack on us", Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said. Turkey and the United States have different interests and priorities.

Businessmen holding USA dollars stand in front of a currency exchange office in response to the call of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings to support the lira, in Ankara, Turkey Aug. 14, 2018.

There were fears Ankara may need to turn to the International Monetary Fund as the currency crisis escalated.

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Kalin said the German and French leaders told Erdogan that "they were also suffering and that they were also complaining about" U.S. President Donald Trump's administration's tendency to "use trade, dollars, taxes as weapons".

Qatar has stepped in to help bolster the Turkish lira, which has been hit hard by the trade war with the US.

State-run Anadolu Agency says the lawyer on Tuesday also appealed to a court to lift a travel ban imposed on Pastor Andrew Brunson.

A Turkish court on Wednesday denied an appeal from pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest.

"In light of recent market volatility, the new administration will need to demonstrate a commitment to sound economic policies to promote macroeconomic stability and reduce imbalances, while ensuring full operational independence to the central bank to pursue its mandate of securing price stability", she said.

Sanders also criticized Turkey's imposition of tariffs on some US goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

The announcement came after the emir held lunchtime talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In his conference call, Albayrak did not appear to specify whether the central bank would be assured its independence or hint at whether rates would be allowed to rise.

The Turkish currency began to recover after authorities this week took steps to help bank liquidity.

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