Turkish lira slightly firmer after Trump vows 'no concessions'
The Turkish lira firmed slightly against the dollar in holiday trade on Aug. 21, shrugging off comments by U.S. President Donald Trump ruling out agreeing to any demands from Turkey to gain the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
In an interview with Reuters on Aug. 20, Trump said he was not concerned that his tough stance could end up hurting European and emerging market economies.
The lira stood at 6.0700 against the U.S. currency at 0500 GMT, gaining from a close of 6.0865 on Aug. 20, when Turkish markets entered a holiday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival which continues for the rest of the week.
Turkish government officials did not comment on Trump's remarks as they spoke after prayers to mark the start of the Islamic festival.
Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) allied with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told reporters: "We have no business with those who love Brunson more than us."
Erdoğan had been expected to speak to reporters after morning prayers but has not done so. He spoke by telephone on Aug. 21 with soldiers stationed near Turkey's Iraq border to send them Eid al-Adha greetings.
"I believe that as long as you stand tall our flag will not fall, our call to prayer will not fall silent and this homeland of ours will not be divided," he said.
"Turkey remains a safe harbour and will continue to be so while the world, particularly our region, passes through a difficult period," Vice President Fuat Oktay told reporters after he prayed in Istanbul.
Trump said he thought he had a deal with Erdoğan when he helped persuade Israel to free a detained Turkish citizen. He had thought Erdoğan would then release pastor Andrew Brunson, who denies Turkey’s allegations that he was involved in a plot against Erdoğan two years ago.
“I think it’s very sad what Turkey is doing. I think they’re making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions,” he said.