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U.S. President Donald Trump intensified his spat with Turkey on Friday by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

Trump, outraged by Turkey's detention of an American evangelical pastor on terrorism charges, said on Twitter he would double duties on Turkish aluminium and steel, to 20 percent and 50 percent respectively.

Washington this month imposed sanctions on senior Turkish officials, angering President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prompting retaliatory measures by Ankara.

When the lira crashed, Iran threatened Mr Trump and said that the "entire world would unite" and use "force" the United States to scrap the sanctions. Waves from the crisis spread overseas, with investors selling off shares in European banks with large exposure to the Turkish economy.

Turkey's woes have been aggravated by investor worries about the economic policies of Mr Erdogan, who won a new term in office in June with sweeping new powers.

Even before Trump's announcement, President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to exchange gold and dollars for lira in order to fight "an economic war".

While Turkey and the United States are at odds over a host of issues, the most pressing disagreement has been over the detention of USA citizens in Turkey, notably Christian pastor Andrew Brunson who is on trial on terrorism charges.

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is doubling tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey amid heightened tensions between the two nations.

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Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency.

"The moves have been exaggerated due to stop losses in Japanese Yen/lira. but for a real pullback (of the dollar), we need to see action from the central bank".

Brunson's arrest in October 2016 soured already deeply-strained relations with Washington.

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that Washington might completely lose Ankara as an ally.

"The lira has been weakening since and it's coming to a head today", Wilson said, adding the downward spiral will continue if Turkey insists on a soft landing. It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system against Iran.

The president has declared that American importers' reliance on foreign metals poses a national security risk to the United States, and he also has increased the cost of these imports on Japan, Turkey and members of the European Union, the paper reported. "This is a national, domestic battle", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

A statement from the Kremlin said the two leaders discussed economic and trade ties. "Threats, sanctions and bullying against Turkey will not work", he said.


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