Turkish Foreign minister dismisses US president’s threats to imposed sanctions on the country if, an American priest is not freed.
According to American TV, Turkish minister for foreign affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: “American threats cannot deter Turkey.” Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was imprisoned in his house on charges of espionage, after Turkish court had sentenced him. President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened Turkey with sanctions and consequences on noncompliance to his release.
Trump tweeted Thursday that he’d hit Turkey with “large” penalties for detaining Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor who has been imprisoned in the country over charges of espionage and terrorism.
“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their longtime detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man, and wonderful human being,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
The Treasury Department, which administers financial sanctions, has not announced new penalties for Turkey over Brunson’s detainment. Trump did not specify when further sanctions on Turkey would be imposed or announced.
Turkey’s foreign minister responded tweeting in response: “Noone dictates Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception.”
Brunson worked in Turkey for 23 years as a pastor before he was detained more than a year ago for an alleged connection to a failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdoğan in 2016.
Brunson was accused of aiding the opposition Kurdistan Workers’ Party and working with Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric who Erdogan claims orchestrated the failed coup. The Turkish government released Brunson from prison this week but has forced him to stay under house arrest.