Turkey threatens retaliation against USA after sanctions

02 August, 2018, 13:38 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson right escorted by Turkish plainclothes officers arrives at his house in Izmir Turkey

Two Turkish employees of U.S. consulates in Turkey are also now in jail on terror charges and another is under house arrest, while several Americans have been caught up in the crackdown that followed the failed coup.

"Without delay, there will be a response to this aggressive attitude that will not serve any objective", it said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has raised the case directly with Erdogan, Sanders said.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted that "U.S. attempts to impose sanctions on our two ministers will not go unanswered", although no immediate reciprocation was announced.

"Pastor Brunson's unjust detention and continued prosecution..."

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday strongly protested against U.S. Treasury Department's decision, calling on the U.S. administration to reverse its "wrong decision". The next hearing is October 12 with the pastor facing 35 years in jail if convicted. He was accused of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party and USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is alleged by the Turkish government to have been behind much of the unrest. Gul and Soylu, she said, "played leading roles in the arrest and detention" of Brunson.

The indictment against Brunson accuses him of participating in the coup, as well as attempting to convert Turkish Kurds to Christianity.

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Pence, who has close ties to the evangelical Christian community, has been following Brunson's case since he was arrested and pressing behind the scenes for action, aides said.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said in a statement: "The president is not acting alone". Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thought they had a deal to get Brunson's release last month.

Pompeo said Trump had decided that sanctions were "the appropriate action".

The move targeting Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu further ratcheted up tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, with Ankara vowing to retaliate over the measures and what it dubbed an "aggressive attitude".

"We are still pursuing a diplomatic approach", Nauert said.

Washington accused the two ministers of leading government organisations behind "serious human rights abuses".

Analysts say relations between the United States and Turkey have come under increasing strain in the past two years over the USA role in Syria and Turkey's stronger ties with Russian Federation.

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