Erdogan, Macron vow to boost economic ties - Turkish presidential source

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Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says the German leader has discussed "international challenges" such as Syria and bilateral relations in a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has repeatedly told Turks to exchange gold and hard currency into lira, saying the country was involved in an economic war with enemies and a presidential official gave a similar message on Thursday.

Kalin also called on the United States to respect legal process in Turkey in reference to the American pastor's continued detention. Tariffs on American cars were doubled to 120 percent while tariff on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent.

The investment package was announced after Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met President Tayyip Erdogan in the capital, as Turkey grapples with a collapsing lira and a worsening commercial and political standoff with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States.

Pence tweeted that "Turkey would do well not to test" Trump's resolve "to see Americans who are wrongfully imprisoned in foreign lands returned home to the United States".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, August 14, 2018.

Erdogan issued the call and announced a massive hike in tariffs on US goods this week after the USA raised tariffs on Turkish imports and aimed new sanctions at Turkish officials in the row over American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who remains under house arrest pending his trial in Turkey on charges of espionage and terrorism.

The White House called the Turkish response a step in the wrong direction and signaled a hard line on Brunson's release.

The escalating feud between the longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies is playing out against a backdrop of economic tumult in Turkey, which has seen steep drops in the country's currency, the lira.

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"The president has a great deal of frustration on the fact that Pastor Brunson has not been released as well as the fact that other US citizens and employees of diplomatic facilities have not been released", Sanders said at a White House briefing Tuesday. Brunson is accused of backing a 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan, which Brunson denies.

"It's something that we won't forget in the administration", she added.

The finance minister will seek to reassure worldwide investors on Thursday in a conference call for which a ministry official said some far 3,000 people had signed up.

The decision to release Taner Kilic on Wednesday came a day after a Turkish court similarly freed two Greek soldiers from their jail in northwest Turkey, raising hopes for improved ties between Turkey and European Union countries.

Pastor Andrew Brunson's lawyer renewed an appeal on Tuesday for Brunson's release from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted.

Erdogan has called for a boycott of U.S. electronic goods and Turkish media have given extensive coverage to anti-US protests, including videos on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.

A higher court was however, was scheduled to review the appeal, the agency said.

"Turkey has alternatives", he said.

The United States is also considering a fine against Turkey's state-owned Halkbank for allegedly helping Iran evade US sanctions.

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