White House rejects Turkey's offer for pastor's release

Recep Tayipp Erdogan

Ankara offered to drop terrorism charges against Brunson if the USA pulled back the billions of dollars in fines it has brought against Halkbank.

Several hours later, Turkey lodged a complaint with the WTO against additional United States duties on steel and aluminium.

Turkey's currency crisis poses an additional risk to Germany's economy on top of trade frictions with the United States and the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, the German Finance Ministry said on Monday (Aug 19).

Washington and Ankara are locked in a bitter feud over the almost two-year jailing of Andrew Brunson over disputed terror charges, which has triggered a trade row and sent the lira into a tailspin. "We see your game and we challenge it", Erdogan said Saturday at the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) sixth grand congress. "Turkey did not and will not surrender to those which try to make Turkey as a strategic target".

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Meanwhile on Monday, six gunshots were fired at the US Embassy in Ankara, three bullets hit the iron gate and window wall. No injuries were reported.

The White House rejected Turkey's offer to release detained American pastor Andrew Brunson in exchange for the USA dropping an investigation into Turkish bank Halkbank, a senior White House official told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

The lira's value dropped 38 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year and sunk as low as 7.24 this week.

Turkish President, Recept Tayyip Erdogan says, "Today some people are trying to threaten us through the economy, through sanctions, foreign exchange, interest rates and inflation".

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