Qatar to invest $15b in Turkey's financial markets and banks


Ankara retaliated on Wednesday by doubling tariffs on some US imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

The press secretary denied responsibility for Turkey's economic tension, which comes after U.S. President Donald Trump increased U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Turkey entered into an understanding to the Russian defense system despite being a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, and has been increasingly cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, alarming both the U.S. and EU.

Markets have been concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

Qatar poured funds into the country the same day Turkey doubled tariffs on some US imports, such as cars, alcohol and tobacco, one day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of iPhones.

And Erdogan held a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and planned to speak this week also with France's Emmanuel Macron.

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Following the release of new tariffs on American products Wednesday, Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın expressed hope that the two nations would resolve their issues, but insisted that Washington must stop petitioning for Brunson's release.

The United States on Wednesday ruled out removing steel tariffs that have contributed to a currency crisis in Turkey even if Ankara frees a US pastor, as Qatar pledged $15 billion in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira.

Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, a spread betting firm, blamed worries over the Turkish crisis for the stock market falls.

Separately, in a story headlined "Turkey Shifts Closer to Russia", the Wall Street Journal highlighted contacts between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

Erdogan said Turkey was facing an "economic attack" and a "bigger, deeper operation".

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The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey a year ago, accounting for $12-billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. Turkey's exports to the US a year ago amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey's fifth-largest export market.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for Brunson, describing him as a "fine gentleman", a "Christian leader in the United States" and a "respected U.S. pastor" whose continued holding by Turkey was a "total disgrace". An upper court had yet to rule on the appeal, his lawyer told Reuters. "The tariffs are specific to national security", she said.

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal to boycott US electronic products on Tuesday, Turks started to raise their voices in social media by sharing the list of the USA items from fast food to clothing brands to be boycotted.

President Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey was taking measures to stabilise its economy and should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

In his televised speech yesterday, Erdogan vowed that Turkey will "boycott United States electronic goods".

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 US has responded by slapping financial sanctions on two ministers and later doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey . Mr Erdogan ruled out the possibility of higher interest rates, which economists said are needed to stabilise the currency.