Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

US sanctions two Turkey officials over detention of pastor

Demiroren News Agency  AFP  File  STRAndrew Brunson spent almost two years in jail after his initial detention in October 2016 Demiroren News Agency AFP File STRAndrew Brunson spent almost two years in jail after his initial detention in October 2016
Laurie Berry | 02 August, 2018, 07:53

The US Commander landed in Izmir on Wednesday where he met Turkish Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler. We will never tolerate threats from anybody.

Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said in a statement applauding the sanctions Wednesday. Such measures "could take days but the process has started", the source said.

"The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being", Trump tweeted last Thursday, after Brunson was ordered to be placed under house arrest for the remainder of his trial.

The Turkish Ministry of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Turkish government refused to release Brunson "after numerous conversations between President Trump and President Erdogan", along with his conversations with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavosuglo.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will not bow to threats fueled by an "evangelist and Zionist mentality" in the US, as the diplomatic crisis between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members over the fate of a detained American pastor showed no signs of abating.

Ankara accuses Gulen of organising the July 2016 failed coup, claims which he denies.

Brunson, who was moved from prison to house arrest last month, faces 35 years in prison after the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan swept up the longtime Turkey resident, along with several other Americans, in his post-coup purges.

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Bruson was arrested in Turkey in October 2016.

"Clearly the goal is to send a message to those involved, and as with most sanctions, to increase the perception of a risk premium on Turkey", Ziemba said. "In the meanwhile, diplomacy will continue", said National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted, "We will not be able to resolve our problems unless the USA administration realizes that it can not reach its unlawful demands through this method". United States officials said at the time that it was not enough and threatened to take measures against Turkey.

Erdogan has also warned that Turkey would seek global arbitration if the United States refused to deliver F-35 fighter jets in retaliation.

"Turkey knows our position well", she said Wednesday. Pompeo plans to meet Cavusoglu at a summit in Singapore this weekend. Brunson denies all charges.

"Ongoing diplomatic efforts are taking place at the highest level", Mr Sekulow said. Brunson was also charged with supporting outlawed PKK Kurdish militants.

Turkey is also working to purchase Russia's S-400 missile defense system, a plan that's angered US lawmakers and defense officials.

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