By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – President Donald Trump on Friday ramped up his attack on Turkey in announcing a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on the NATO ally.
"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump tweeted. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
The tweet is another salvo in the growing dispute between Turkey and the U.S.
Earlier this week, a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no movement on the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey for terrorism charges.
Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey — and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing Brunson.
The two NATO allies have been at odds since the defeated coup, which Ankara accused U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen and his FETO organization of masterminding.