Turkish lira firms before minister's presentation

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

President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports to the United States last week prompting Turkey, which says it will not bow to threats, to raise tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol and tobacco by the same amount on Wednesday.

Turkey's battered lira weakened more than 6 percent against the dollar on Friday, after a USA warning that Ankara should expect more economic sanctions unless it hands over detained American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

The currency has lost almost 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

The United States and Turkey have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs in Trump's attempt to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give up Brunson, who denies charges that he was involved in a coup attempt against Erdogan two years ago.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs.

The lira strengthened some 4 per cent against the dollar, to around 5.75 per dollar.

"If the traitor in Pennsylvania is extradited to our country, the handover of the pastor may be in the offing, and both countries will get what they want", Devlet Bahceli, leader of a far-right political party allied with Erdogan, said Wednesday in Ankara, according to the Anadolu news agency.

The White House has complained about Turkey's treatment of Andrew Brunson, the detained American pastor.

The Turkish government doubled its tariffs on imports of American cars and alcoholic beverages to 120 and 140 percent, respectively, CNN reported.

Beyond Turkey, concerns about China's technology sector, its currency, and trade relations between the US and Beijing have been key drivers of global markets in recent sessions. Turkish currency has nosedived lately.

The ministers responded by condemning the sanctions and claiming not to have any economic interests or properties in the United States.

Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkish financial markets and banks amid the massive collapse of its currency.

In a sign that Turkey may hope to make common cause with other affected countries, Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Thursday, discussing developing economic and trade ties and boosting bilateral investment, a Turkish presidential source said.

China's Foreign Ministry said Turkey can "overcome" the economic problems.

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