ISTANBUL — The economic and diplomatic disputes between the U.S and Turkey escalated on Wednesday as Turkey increased tariffs on U.S. products.
The two countries also remain at odds over an American pastor who is now under house arrest in Turkey facing terrorism charges. A Turkish court rejected his appeal for release while the White House said it would consider lifting some sanctions if the pastor is released.
The Turkish lira has been falling in value for months, but last week it plummeted 20 percent because of a dispute with Washington over, the evangelical pastor from North Carolina. He's lived in Turkey for more than 20 years and is accused by the Turkish government of terrorism and spying.
Brunson has been detained for nearly two years in Turkey. The U.S. says it's seen no credible evidence against him.
"To President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America: Release pastor Andrew Brunson now, or be prepared to face the consequences," Vice President Mike Pence said last month.
Those consequences are U.S. sanctions and a doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, announced by President Trump on Friday.
In retaliation, Turkey's doubled tariffs on U.S. passenger cars, coal and other goods and announced a boycott of U.S. electronic goods.
Angry Turks tore up fake dollar bills in protest. Many people in the country believe this crisis is the fault of the U.S. even though experts have been warning of danger signs for months. Some blame Turkey's authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A defiant Erdogan said the Americans "have their dollar but we have our God." Even though the lira has rallied some this week, the markets aren't sharing his faith in Turkey's economy.