The top U.S. diplomat in Turkey has called for the cases against an American pastor and others held in Turkey to be resolved “without delay” and in a “fair and transparent manner.”
Jeffrey Hovelier, the U.S. Charge d’Affaires, spoke to reporters Tuesday after visiting Pastor Andrew Brunson who is being held under house arrest in the Turkish city of Izmir.
The visit came hours after Brunson’s lawyer appealed to a court for his release and for a travel ban against him to be lifted.
The U.S. government believes that Brunson — a Turkish-American NASA scientist accused of links to U.S-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016 — and three Turkish employees of U.S. diplomatic missions accused of terror-related charges are being held unjustly.
The Russian foreign minister claims that the U.S. increased use of sanctions will erode the dollar’s role as the top reserve currency.
Sergey Lavrov, speaking after talks Tuesday with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said the wide use of sanctions reflect Washington’s desire to win domination and secure unilateral advantages for its businesses.
He noted that the U.S. has punished its own allies, an apparent reference to Turkey that recently faced U.S. sanctions over the continued detention of an American pastor on espionage and terror-related charges. The dispute with the U.S. has exacerbated Turkey’s economic troubles.
Lavrov says that Washington’s policies will undermine the dollar’s position as the international reserve currency of choice. He said that Russia and Turkey have set a goal to switch to national currencies in mutual trade.
Independent economists say it would be difficult to unseat the dollar as the top reserve currency as it is used widely in the global economy, for example to trade in oil and for commercial deals.
The lawyer representing an American pastor held in Turkey has renewed an appeal for his release from house arrest.
State-run Anadolu Agency says the lawyer on Tuesday also appealed to a court to lift a travel ban imposed on Pastor Andrew Brunson. It was not clear when the court would consider the appeal.
Brunson is at the center of a diplomatic spat between NATO allies Turkey and the United States, which has helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis. The United States slapped financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey over his continued detention.
Brunson, 50, is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges, which he and the U.S. government vehemently deny. Although he was released to home detention, he faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at the end of his ongoing trial.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters that the top U.S. diplomat in Turkey would visit Brunson later Tuesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will boycott U.S.-made electronic goods amid a diplomatic spat that has helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis.
Showing no signs of backing down in a standoff with the U.S., Erdogan suggested that Turkey would stop procuring U.S.-made iPhones and buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel instead.
He said: “If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere. We have Vestel.”
It was unclear how Erdogan intended to enforce the boycott.
Erdogan also renewed a call for Turks to convert their dollars into the Turkish lira, to help strengthen the currency.
The Turkish lira has nosedived in value in the past week over concerns about Erdogan’s economic policies and after the United States slapped sanctions on Turkey angered by the continued detention of an American pastor.
Turkey’s influential business groups have called on the government to implement tighter monetary policy to help overcome the country’s currency crisis.
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, the industrialists’ group TUSIAD and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges also called for diplomatic efforts to resolve a spat with the United States and improve relations with the European Union, which is Turkey’s major trading partner.
The business groups also urged the drawing up of a roadmap to reduce inflation.
The Turkish lira has nosedived against the dollar and other currencies in the past week, sparked by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and a dispute with the United States over the detention of an American pastor, who is on trial on espionage and terror-related charges.
The Turkish currency has stabilized near record lows as investors gauge the government’s next move to avoid a full-blown financial crisis.
The Turkish lira has been hit by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States, a NATO ally.
The lira was around 6.55 per dollar Tuesday, up 6 percent from the previous day, when the central bank freed up cash for banks. It remains not far from the record low of 7.23 per dollar hit Sunday.
The currency has nosedived over the past week, accelerating a months-long decline that has seen it drop 45 percent this year.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the finance chief would address hundreds of foreign investors on Thursday.