Turkey vows retaliation against United States sanctions

George McgeeAug 04, 2018

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday said he told his U.S. counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that threats and sanctions would not work after Washington targeted Turkish ministers over the detention of an American pastor.

The meeting came on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers' meeting.

The White House this week slapped sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over the case, which has badly strained relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Turkey's foreign ministry said in a written statement on Thursday: "The decision, which disrespectfully intervenes in our judicial system, will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries".

Washington earlier this week imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the case of Andrew Brunson, a us pastor on trial in Turkey for backing terrorism.

Top diplomats from Turkey and the United States agreed on Friday to work towards a solution to the diplomatic spat that has erupted over the arrest of a USA pastor, which has already resulted in Washington slapping sanctions on Ankara.

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned and I hope they'll see this for what it is, a demonstration that we're very serious", Pompeo said. "We repeated to them that nothing can be achieved through threatening language and sanctions and we believe that this was well understood", he said.

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage.

NASA scientist Serkan Golge, a U.S.

One is led by US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for masterminding the failed 2016 coup against the Turkish government.

The former prime minister's position echoes that of the Turkish government.

He was recently released from prison and put under house arrest but still faces a sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at his ongoing trial.

Last week, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if Brunson was not immediately released.

Brunson was accused of helping supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the USA -based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan in which 250 people were killed.

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