Turkey will respond if United States imposes more sanctions amid pastor row

Turkey denies American pastor’s appeal decides to hit the US with tariffs instead

Turkey's currency, which had recovered from record losses against the dollar earlier in the week, was down about 6 percent against the dollar on Friday, at 6.17.

The White House has said that Turkey's tariff hikes on USA products in retaliation for sanctions against Ankara were "regrettable" and again called for the immediate release of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Mr Trump described him as "our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage".

US President Donald Trump widened the diplomatic rift with a tweet that announced an increase of tariffs on steel and aluminium and that said "our relations with Turkey are not good at this time".

Trump, who doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, said the steel tariffs have kicked in the aluminum tariffs will take effect soon.

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In response, Turkey raised tariffs on several US -made goods, including alcohol and tobacco products and vehicles.

"They have not proven to be a good friend", Trump said of Turkey during the Cabinet meeting. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that Washington will withdraw sanctions on Turkey if Brunson was set free.

Turkish President Erdogan has slapped new tariffs on American products like cars, alcohol and coal.

Trump then called Brunson a "very innocent man" and said his arrest was "not fair, not right".

The Turkish currency was trading at 5.85 at 1740 GMT, more than 1 percent stronger on the day.

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In another high-profile case, a Turkish court ruled on August 15 to release from jail Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, told investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from the currency crisis, insisting its banks were healthy and signalling it could ride out the dispute with Washington.

It received another boost on Wednesday when Qatar's Emir approved a package of economic projects, investments and deposits worth $15 billion after he met President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

Turkey and Qatar have traditionally maintained good ties and Ankara stood by Doha after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar past year, accusing it of financing terrorism - a charge Doha denies.

The turmoil has raised fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey and prompted alarm that foreign investors in the country, including Qatar, could be hit in the fallout.

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Mr Erdogan wrote in the New York Times earlier that unless the USA changed course, Turkey would look for new friends and allies.

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