U.S. tensions with Turkey deepen amid standoff over detained pastor

Andrew Brunson centre was released from prison but put under house arrest last month. If found guilty he faces 35 years in jail

The White House does not appear to be decreasing its pressure on Turkey to release Brunson.

"The US is our major trade partner but it's not the only one", Pekcan was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

The U.S. recently slapped financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey over Brunson's continued detention.

The long relationship between Turkey and the United States was always "high maintenance" and often in "crisis management mode", said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the office of the German Marshall Fund in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

Turkey on Wednesday said it was hiking tariffs on imports of several key USA products in retaliation for American sanctions against Ankara, as a bitter dispute between the two allies that sent the Turkish lira into freefall showed no sign of ending.

The tariffs come a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would boycott USA electronic goods, singling out iPhones. Although no further detail on the length and implementation of the boycott was provided, but significantly, the transcript of Erdoğan's speech on the Turkish presidency's website omitted the boycott announcement.

China may have emerged as an alternative ally for Turkey while its relations with the USA have deteriorated, but it is yet to become an all-out strategic partner for the country, with its security and economic policies still shaped largely by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union.

The Turkish lira has dropped to a series of record lows in recent weeks, having fallen 37 per cent so far this year.

On Monday, National Security Council Advisor, John Bolton, met with Turkey's ambassador to Washington, Serdar Kilic.

The lira´s fall had raised fears Turkey was on the verge of a fully-fledged economic crisis, especially in its banking system, that could spill over into Europe and other markets.

An evangelical from North Carolina, he has been held in Turkey for almost two years over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

"Turkey does not favor an economic war, but it can not remain unresponsive when it is attacked", presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.

Turkey's currency, the lira, bounced back sharply on Wednesday morning, falling back below six per dollar.

Brunson's lawyer, İsmail Cem Halavurt, filed the demand on August 14 around a week after his previous appeal was rejected by the Turkish court in the western province of İzmir.

However, Lavrov did not announce any immediate commitment to drop the dollar in trade with Turkey or provide it with financial aid, leaving observers guessing if the two countries, both hit by USA sanctions, have agreed on any bilateral deal.

"We predict that measures that our institutions will continue to take will result in an even stronger normalization of the Turkish economy", Kalin said.

Evangelical pastor Andrew Craig Brunson has found himself at the centre of a war of word between USA President Donald Trump and Turkey President Recep Erdogan.

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