Turkey will respond if US imposes more sanctions — trade minister

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump have been in a tit-for-tat retaliatory moves as dispute between the two countries worsens. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2018
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Turkey will respond if US imposes more sanctions — trade minister

  • American pastor’s detention in Turkey has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency
  • Washington warned Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless the pastor was released

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further sanctions over the detention of an American pastor, which has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency.
“We’ve already responded based on the World Trade Organization rules and will continue to do so,” Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Washington warned on Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless pastor Andrew Brunson, described by US President Donald Trump as a “hostage,” was released.
Brunson’s detention since October 2016 on terror-related charges has soured relations between the two NATO allies, sending the Turkish lira into a tailspin.
The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, was at 5.8 against the dollar and 6.7 against euro on Friday.
Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some US products.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon, in a sign of a deepening spat.
Trump prefaced Mnuchin’s remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good friend to America.
Referring to Brunson, Trump said: “They have a great Christian pastor there, he’s a very innocent man.”


2 guards killed in explosion in southeastern Turkey

Updated 26 September 2018
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2 guards killed in explosion in southeastern Turkey

  • The village guards support Turkey’s military in fighting the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party
  • Two other village guards were wounded Wednesday in the explosion in the mainly Kurdish-populated Sirnak province

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey’s state-run news agency says an improvised explosive device believed to have been planted by Kurdish rebels has exploded on a road in the country’s southeast, killing two government-paid village guards.
Anadolu Agency said two other village guards were wounded Wednesday in the explosion in the mainly Kurdish-populated Sirnak province, near the border with Iraq.
Anadolu said an operation has been launched to catch the perpetrators.
The village guards support Turkey’s military in fighting the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged a more than three-decade-long insurgency in Turkey’s southeastern region.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984. The group is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its allies.