Sekulow: "High Level Negotiations for Pastor Brunson" Ep. 482

Turkey vows retaliation in crisis with US over pastor

Turkey will retaliate against a USA decision to impose sanctions on two senior ministers over the imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The Treasury's sanctions, called "designation packages", already include Turkey's justice minister and interior minister.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that sanction threats would not force Ankara to take a "step back", in comments reported on Sunday. EO 13818 builds upon the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, which allows the United States government to sanction individuals, companies or corporations involved in corruption or human-rights abuses internationally and permits the seizure of their assets in the United States, prohibits them from conducting business with anyone in the US and also bans them from traveling to the U.S.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Trump administration will sanction Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu over the holding of 50-year-old Andrew Craig Brunson.

"The US is trying to thread the needle here and escalate with Turkey by targeting officials associated with the Brunson case" Mr Stein said. "President Trump concluded that these sanctions are the appropriate action".

"We believe he's a victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey", Sanders told journalists, referring to Brunson, who is at the center of a bitter diplomatic spat between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

A Turkish court denied the pastor's appeal on Tuesday.

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The Senate voted 87-10 approving the NDAA which includes a provision to force the Pentagon to halt the transfer until it can provide a four-section report in 90 days to Congress addressing key issues of Turkish behaviour, paticularly its military deals with Russian Federation and continued detention of Mr Brunson.

His next hearing is set for October 12.

He also said his foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, would hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting in Singapore.

Turkey's foreign ministry said it had shared "necessary information" with the United States, but insisted the case should be left with its judiciary.

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

Brunson is one of tens of thousands of people - and several Americans - detained on similar charges during the state of emergency declared by Erdogan in the wake of the 2016 failed coup bid. Gulen vehemently denies that he masterminded the failed 2016 coup bid.

TRT World was joined by Jon Brain in Washington DC and Andrew Hopkins in Ankara for the latest. "President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the United States expects Turkey to release him immediately".

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