Qatar promises $15 bn investment in Turkey: presidency

Andrew Brunson the US pastor accused of being a spy for Kurdish separatists arrives home in Izmir after being released from prison in July on house arrest

Turkey said Wednesday it was imposing extra tariffs on imports of products, including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

"Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the US administration's deliberate attacks on our economy", the country's vice president, Fuat Oktay, said in a pair of tweets.

Turkey's national currency, the lira, has tumbled by almost 40% against the USA dollar so far this year.

"We expect that Turkey will have to introduce deep fiscal and monetary tightening to stabilise the Turkish lira, which in turn will dampen economic activity further".

Russia backs using national currencies, not the U.S. dollar, in its trade with Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, but he made no firm commitments that would immediately help Ankara to weather its currency crisis.

In addition to its decision to ramp up tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum, the Trump administration earlier this month imposed sanctions on two top officials in Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's Cabinet as part of its efforts to pressure Turkey into freeing Brunson.

The decision to impose new tariffs came a day after President Erdoğan said Turkey would boycott USA electronic goods, singling out iPhones.

At any rate, it's not clear how Erdogan plans to enforce this boycott if indeed he intends to enforce it at all.

Sonar Cagaptay, director of the Turkish program at the Washington Institute, described the Qatari investment as a "big deal that could build investor confidence in Turkey, staving off potential economic collapse".

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

Tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained for years, over policy in Syria toward the Kurdish population there and over Erdogan's antidemocratic reforms.

The rebound in the Turkish currency to stronger than 6.0 against the us dollar was driven by a banking watchdog's step to limit swap transactions and by hopes of improved relations with the European Union.

Economists are warning that if confidence isn't restored quickly, Turkey could lurch into a recession and debt crisis requiring a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

'The fundamentals of the Turkish economy are robust and Turkey will emerge stronger from this process, ' he wrote.

In a Wednesday phone conversation with Erdogan, the German chancellor expressed her country's commitment to strengthening its cooperation with Turkey through reciprocal visits at the highest levels, Turkey's Anadolu Agency quoted presidential sources as saying. He is now facing terrorism and espionage charges, which Brunson's legal representation dismiss as absurd.

But the USA insists Andrew Brunson, a long-time Turkish resident who ran the tiny Izmir Resurrection Church, is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention".

"We would likely downgrade Turkey's ratings if we conclude that policymaking is unlikely to be able to prevent a further deterioration in Turkey's external position, leading to a sustained rise in the risk of a balance of payments crisis", Mathias Angonin, sovereign analyst at Moody's, told The National.

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