Turkish lira firms on news of US pastor’s release
Andrew Brunson convicted on charges but released on time served
Turkey’s embattled currency, which has lost nearly 40% of its value versus the dollar this year, jumped 3% Thursday on news that tensions between Washington and Ankara are easing.
The currency did little on Friday when it became official that an American pastor held by Turkish authorities will be released and allowed to return to the United States.
The US citizen, who has served two years of detention for coup-plotting and terrorism-related charges, was convicted in court on Friday, but was allowed to leave due to the time in detention already served.
In August, the Trump administration placed sanctions on Turkish officials in response to Ankara’s refusal to release Brunson.
President Trump was quick to express his excitement on Twitter:
PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2018
Brunson’s case was just one of many issues of contention between the US and its NATO ally, and other disagreements persist, including Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian missile system.
US lawmakers passed legislation that will block the transfer of Turkish F-35 fighter jets, still on US soil for training, to Turkey in response to the purchase of the S-400 systems.