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On Aug. 1 relations between Ankara and Washington nosedived when the US imposed sanctions on two Turkish Cabinet ministers after Turkey refused to release an American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on August 15 and stood at 6.1320 at 8:43 ET in a move initially triggered by the Turkish court decision on the Greek soldiers who faced espionage charges.

The embattled currency, which has fallen by 40% this year amid a lack of interest rate hikes to control inflation, fell to around 5.86 to the dollar - continuing its recovery from a record low of 7.23 on Sunday.

The dispute between Turkey and the U.S. was sparked by a row over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed almost two years ago in the crackdown that followed a failed military coup.

Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum last Friday, while also imposing sanctions on Turkish interior and justice ministers.

On Wednesday, Turkey announced tariff hikes on a range of USA goods, including imports of vehicles, alcohol, coal, rice and cosmetics.

Before he spoke, the lira strengthened more than 3 percent, despite signs that the dispute with the United States is as wide as ever.

FILE - U.S. Charge d'Affaires Jeffrey Hovenier talks to members of the media after visiting U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held under house arrest in Izmir, Turkey, Aug. 14, 2018.


In response to Trump's tariffs, Turkish officials said they will impose a 50 percent tax on USA rice, 140 percent on spirits, 60 percent on tobacco and 120 percent on cars while increasing duties on a variety of other goods.

Turkey has sought to persuade the United States to spare Turkey's state-owned Halkbank from a threatened fine for allegedly helping Iran evade US sanctions.

"We got somebody out for him", Trump said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the United States of waging a targeted economic war on his country, and on Tuesday he proposed a boycott of US electronic goods. Turkish currency has nosedived lately.

The lira gained some support from the announcement late on Wednesday of a Qatari pledge to invest $15 billion in Turkey.

He later tweeted: "Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years".

Gold prices in line with the emerging market currencies rout, triggered by Turkey's Lira and China's economic woes, reduced to its over 19-month low price levels. Sanders lamented that Turkey had treated Brunson, "who we know to be a very good person and a strong Christian who has done nothing wrong, very unfairly, very badly".


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