Trump Says U.S. Won't Pay Turkey for Pastor's Release

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A Turkish appeals court upheld US pastor Andrew Brunson's house arrest Thursday despite threats of retaliation from the Trump administration, according to Bloomberg.

US President Donald Trump Mr Trump announced on Twitter last week that he had authorised a doubling of duties on aluminium and steel imported from Turkey, putting unprecedented economic pressure on Ankara.

"They should have given him back a long time ago, and Turkey has in my opinion acted very, very badly", Trump told reporters at the White House.

A senior United States official told CNN that in exchange for Turkey's release of Brunson, Israel agreed to release Ebru Ozkan, a 27-year-old Turkish woman held in Israel on suspicion of aiding Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza.

Turkey retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some U.S. imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott USA electronic goods.

Trump then called Brunson a "very innocent man" and said his arrest was "not fair, not right".

Last month, at Brunson's third court hearing in almost two years, U.S. officials thought they had brokered a deal to free him by pressuring Israel to release a Turkish citizen imprisoned there.

The Turkish lira has strengthened more than 3% today, ahead of a presentation by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak to investors, shrugging off USA comments ruling out the removal of steel tariffs on Turkey even if it frees a United States pastor. We are not going to take it sitting down. It hit an all-time low of 7.2 lira to the dollar earlier in the week.

The United States was the fourth-largest source of imports to Turkey past year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

Americans with a bit of common sense see that what is being done to Turkey is not only penalizing the Turkish people and plunging relations into a state of collapse, but it is also hurting global American security interests as well as the US economy.

Qatar's royal court released a statement saying Al-Thani "issued directives that will see the State of Qatar to provide a host of economic projects, investments, and deposits" worth $15 billion to support the Turkish economy.

In a bid to soothe the markets, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak went on record on Thursday to reassure investors that Ankara was still in control.

Three big companies operating in Dogubank, a trade center specialized in the sales of electronic products in central Istanbul, suspended 50 million USA dollars' worth of iPhone orders, the Turkish daily said.