Aug 14 2018

Misunderstanding may have sparked Turkey's currency crisis - Business Insider

A misunderstanding during a conversation on prisoner releases between U.S. President Donald and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a July NATO summit may have caused Turkey’s currency crisis, Business Insider reported.

Turkey’s currency has lost 32 percent value so far this month, following a U.S. decision to sanction two Turkish ministers and double tariffs on Turkey’s steel and aluminium exports to the United States in response to Ankara’s continued detention of a U.S. pastor.

Business Insider said the misunderstanding began when Erdoğan, on the sidelines of the July NATO summit asked Trump for help with a Turkish woman being held in prison in Israel. ‘’Trump said: 'I need some traction on the pastor first.' When Erdoğan said OK he meant that we are working on it."

Trump, however, mistook Erdoğan’s ‘’OK,’’ as a deal, Business Insider said.

‘’When Erdoğan didn't release the prisoner, merely shifting him to house arrest from jail, Trump struck with sanctions that tanked the lira,’’ it reported.

While Israel let the Turkish woman walk free the day after the summit, Turkey merely moved Brunson from jail to house arrest, which angered Trump, who "confused a process for an agreement," Business Insider quoted a source as saying.

Brunson was detained after the 2016 coup attempt that Ankara blames on Fethullah Gülen, a former Erdoğan ally and leader of the Gülen movement.

The Turkish president has blamed the country’s crisis on what he calls economic terrorists in the United States, which he accuses of waging an economic war against Turkey.