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The Latest: Germany urges solution on Turkish prisoners

August 13, 2018

A Turkish waits to change his US dollars with Turkish liras inside a currency exchange shop in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Turkey’s currency crisis (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

Germany’s foreign minister says it would be in Turkey’s own interest to come to an agreement with the United States and others on the release of foreign prisoners.

Angered by the continued detention of an American pastor, the U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Turkey which Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters Monday has increased political tensions.

He said there are similar cases with Germans imprisoned and he says “it would be desirable to see this matter not only solved at the bilateral level with the U.S. and Turkey... but it would be good if the Turkish government would resolve it on a more general basis.”

He says it would “facilitate solving the economic problems” so “at the end of the day it’s also in the interests of Turkey.”

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3:40 p.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Germany wants to see Turkey prosper economically and is stressing the importance of its central bank’s independence.

Turkey is grappling with a currency crisis sparked by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States.

Merkel said after meeting the head of the Bosnian government Monday that Germany benefits from an economically stable neighborhood and added: “Germany wants an economically prosperous Turkey. That is in our interests, too.”

She said that “no one ... has an interest in an economic destabilization of Turkey, but of course everything must be done so that, for example, an independent central bank can work and so on.”

Erdogan is due to visit Germany next month.

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2:55 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is under an economic “siege” that has nothing to do with its economic indicators.

During an address to Turkish ambassadors in the capital, Ankara, Erdogan said Monday that Turkey would overcome the “attack” on its economy.

He insisted that Turkey’s economy remains strong and said the currency would soon settle “at the most reasonable level.”

In an apparent reference to the United States, Erdogan said “the bullies of the global system cannot roughly, shamelessly encroach on our gains that were paid for by blood.”

The Turkish leader’s comments came after authorities launched investigations into hundreds of social media accounts for alleged reports they claimed were helping the currency’s plunge.

Erdogan said there is an “economic terror” being waged on social media, adding that “traitors” would be punished.

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12:05 p.m.

Turkey’s foreign minister says the United States won’t achieve aims by exerting pressure and imposing sanctions on Turkey.

Addressing a conference in Ankara gathering Turkish ambassadors, Mevlut Cavusolgu on Monday called on the United States to “remain loyal to ties based on traditional friendship and NATO alliance” with Turkey.

Turkey has been hit by financial turmoil, with the lira plunging over deepening concerns about the government’s economic policies and a diplomatic spat with the United States.

Angered by the continued detention of an American pastor, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on two Cabinet ministers and threatened more. It also doubled tariffs of steel and aluminum imports.

Cavusoglu said: “We support diplomacy and negotiations but it is not possible for us to accept impositions.”

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11:40 a.m.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry says it will take legal action against hundreds of social media accounts that it says are provoking a drop in the country’s currency, the lira.

The ministry said Monday it initiated legal investigations against 346 social media accounts “which posted content provoking the dollar exchange rate.”

Turkey was hit by a financial shockwave last week as the lira nosedived over concerns about the government’s economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States.

Multiple institutions announced Monday similar warnings against those responsible for the crisis.

The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s office announced it had begun investigating “those who had taken actions which threatened economic stability.” The Capital Markets Board of Turkey issued a similar warning to those who spread “lies, false or misleading information, news or analysis.”

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10:00 a.m.

Turkey’s Central Bank has announced a series of measures to help banks manage their liquidity, after the country’s finance chief said the government had readied an “action plan” to ease market concerns that led to a slump in the value of Turkish currency.

The bank released a statement Monday saying it would “provide all the liquidity the banks need.”

The Turkish lira has nosedived over the past week amid concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ability to deal with the turmoil and a diplomatic spat with the United States.

The currency tumbled to a record low of around 7.20 lira against the dollar late on Sunday after Erdogan warned of drastic measures if businesses withdraw foreign currency from banks.

The lira recovered to 6.61 following the Central Bank’s announcement.

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