Markets

Erdogan Slams 'Evangelist' US as Pastor's Detention Roils Ties

Erdogan Slams 'Evangelist' US as Pastor's Detention Roils Ties

U.S. President Donald Trump announced possible "large sanctions" against the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally on Thursday in retaliation for the treatment of Brunson, who was detained in the aftermath of a failed 2016 coup against Turkey's government.

The White House announced that the U.S.is imposing sanctions on Turkey's minister of justice and minister of the interior over their country's treatment of the Rev. Andrew Brunson.

A spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tukey will retaliate for the new sanctions.

The Trump administration has been pressuring Turkey for some time to release Brunson.

Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey, in October 2016 and accused of espionage and aiding terrorist organizations.

The Treasury Department's sanctions target Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu. "As a result, any property or interest in property of both ministers within USA jurisdiction is blocked and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them".

The sanctions are being prepared under the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, which allows the USA government to target individuals, companies or other entities involved in corruption or human-rights abuses anywhere in the world.

To President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America: release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequencesWhat happened next?

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

"There is no doubt that this will greatly damage constructive efforts working to solve the issues between the two countries", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Reuters separately reported on Tuesday that a Turkish court rejected Brunson's appeal to be released from house arrest while he stands trial. "Suffice it to say I think these are totally appropriate measures to take in order to deal with the Turkish government's hostage taking", he said, "not only of Pastor Brunson but also other Americans and the US government's local employees".

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has also called the detention "unjust", adding, "Turkey knows our position well".

Pompeo said Trump had decided that sanctions were "the appropriate action". Late Saturday, Turkish media quoted Erdogan as saying that Washington "cannot make Turkey back down with sanctions".

The global order, included in the fiscal 2017 Defense Department funding authorization, expanded authority under the 2012 Magnitsky Act, named after a Russian lawyer and auditor who uncovered tax fraud and graft linked to the Kremlin, leading to his arrest and death in prison under mysterious circumstances.