Trump threatens 'large sanctions' against Turkey over jailed pastor

27 July, 2018, 10:35 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • American pastor detained in Turkey moved to house arrest

A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison.

The threat of sanctions caused a small dip in Turkey's financial markets Thursday morning, Reuters reports.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was blindsided by threats against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey made Thursday by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, two State Department sources told NBC News. Shortly after the possibility of sanctions was first announced by Vice President Mike Pence Thursday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that the U.S.

"I find it hard to see how this relationship moves forward. if the Turkish government continues to detain Pastor Brunson as well as locally employed staff, journalists, and civil servants", Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said.

"He is suffering greatly".

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USA pastor Andrew Brunson reacts as he arrives at his home after being released from the prison in Izmir, Turkey, July 25, 2018. Aydintasbas asserted in a July 26 column for the opposition daily Cumhuriyet that "there was nobody left who hadn't heard about this deal".

Pence spoke at the close of a three-day conference in Washington on religious freedom. Brunson's case has become a cause for conservative Christians who form an important part of Trump's political base.

"In Turkey, Pastor Andrew Brunson remains wrongfully imprisoned on false charges", Brownback told foreign delegates and civil society representatives.

"But Trump's and Pence's tweets threatening sanctions puts Turkey's Erdogan in a hard spot".

"To President (Tayyip) 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 consequences", Pence told a religious freedom conference hosted by the U.S. State Department.

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Last week a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would require the United States to reject worldwide loans to Turkey until Brunson and other Americans are freed or the harassment against them ends. However, the White House did not issue a readout of the call.

Just hours earlier, US Vice President Mike Pence said that if Turkey does not take immediate action to free Brunson, "the United States of America will impose significant sanctions on Turkey".

"I think that the President is being wise and applying pressure", said Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, who attended Brunson's hearing and co-sponsored a bill to punish Turkey for detaining the pastor.

"With regard to the Brunson case, necessary information has been provided to our US counterparts on various occasions and it has been clearly expressed that this issue is totally within the competence of the independent Turkish judiciary", Aksoy told the agency. He also is prohibited from leaving Turkey, where he has lived for 23 years and served as pastor of Izmir Resurrection Church.

"This is one example of why religious freedom matters, and so we're going to have over 80 delegations here at the State Department in a handful of days, 40 of my counterparts, foreign ministers", Pompeo said in the interview. He also condemned Islamic State group violence toward religious minorities and what he described as rising anti-Semitism in Europe.

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