US Announces Sanctions Against Turkey Over Pastor Arrest

George McgeeAug 02, 2018

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called Brunson's detention "unfair", saying that Trump had spoken with Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the pastor.

"Pastor Brunson's unjust detention and continued prosecution by Turkish officials is simply unacceptable", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. Relations between the United States and Turkey have plummeted over Brunson, who was in custody for 21 months in a Turkish prison until he was transferred to house arrest last week.

Tensions rise between Turkey and the USA over Andrew Craig Brunson, who was charged by a Turkish court with committing crimes, including spying for terrorist groups.

Under the deal, the United States would have imposed a light fine on state-run Halkbank for evading sanctions on Iran while repatriating the bank's deputy CEO, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, back to Turkey to serve the remainder of a 32-month prison sentence doled out by a U.S. judge in May.

"By focusing it narrowly on Brunson and personalizing it, it weakens the USA position and makes it harder for Turkey to resolve this", said Eissenstat.

The Department of the Treasury, which is in charge of administering financial sanctions, has not announced any new penalties for Turkey over Brunson's detainment.

Vice President Pence has also said the administration would impose sanctions on Turkey if Brunson was not released.

The ministry called the sanctions a "disrespectful intervention in our legal system" that would harm "the constructive efforts toward resolving problems between the two countries".

On Tuesday, the pastor's appeal to end his house arrest was rejected by a Turkish court, prompting a process of sanctions review in Washington.

Since the failed coup attempt, Turkey has been unsuccessfully lobbying the extradite Fethullah Gulen, an elderly cleric living in Pennsylvania who Turkey says masterminded it.

Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former senior State Department official, said while the administration has engaged with Turkey diplomatically to address irritants in the relationship, Congress has taken a harder line and played "bad cop".

"Turkey knows our position well", she said Wednesday.

Ankara on Wednesday threatened to retaliate after Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over the case of an American pastor as it warned the actions could damage ties.

"Noone dictates Turkey", Turkey's minister of foreign affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, wrote on Twitter.

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

The White House has not specified what sanctions might be imposed on Turkey.

Related Articles:

« Previous article
Next article »

Popular Pages

Seattle judge blocks release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns
On Monday, eight states filed a federal lawsuit to block the deal with Defense Distributed. The president expressed doubt, saying " doesn't seem to make much sense! ".

Pricier iPhones Lead Apple to Beat Earnings Expectations
But one of the categories potentially affected by tariffs is the Apple Watch, which is one of Apple's growth drivers. In the last quarter, Apple's services made $9.5 billion, making it the second-largest business segment for the firm.

U.S. challenges 5 WTO members including China for retaliatory trade tariffs
The shrewdly targeted retaliation of European and other US trade partners has also proved inconvenient to the president. As a publicly traded company, US Steel is required to announce major changes, such as opening new plants.

Pence receives Korean War remains in somber ceremony
Nauert said that North Korean officials would be at some of the same meetings as State Department officials in the area. It has in the past two years quickly advanced its nuclear programme.

Facebook sued after stock plunge ‘shocked’ market
Facebook's decline significantly outpaced the $91 billion that Intel lost in September of 2000, during the original dot-com bust. More worrisome was the number of daily active users, which grew by just 22 million - the lowest such number since at least 2011.

Zimbabwe election: Voters set for first ballot without Mugabe
Millions of people voted peacefully on Monday in the first poll since the army removed Robert Mugabe from power a year ago . Chamisa raised fraud allegations on Monday, saying his victory would be assured if rigged ballots were excluded.

Facebook Warns Of ‘Bad Actors,’ Deletes Accounts Ahead Of Midterms
The company said the pages ran 150 ads for a total of approximately $11,000. ▻ The Pages created about 30 events since May 2017. This included using virtual private networks (VPNs) to hide their location, and using third parties to run ads on their behalf.

Amazon's quarterly profit tops $2 billion for first time
Amazon also announced last month that it is buying the online pharmacy PillPack , pushing it deeper into the health care industry. Total volume is the number of shares or deals that point towards the overall activity of a security or market for a given period.

Manchester United players perform very bad one-touch drill
To add, Smalling has never been a ball-playing centre back but in the past few years, his passing has been bad . The most important thing is to get minutes and be ready for the game against Leicester.

Prosecutors: Paul Manafort believed he was above the law
The charges against Manafort largely pre-date his five months of work for the Trump campaign, some of them as campaign chairman. Manafort is accused of financial crimes in connection with political lobbying work her performed in Ukraine.