Turkey says USA sanctions unacceptable, have limited economic impact

Andrew Brunson was accused of being involved in the failed coup attempt

Andrew Brunson was accused of being involved in the failed coup attemptAFP GETTY IMAGES

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Singapore following Washington's move to sanction Turkey's two ministers over the detention of a US pastor.

"We have said since the beginning that threatening language and sanctions will not get any result", he said.

Davutoğlu said the USA decision is a risky move and "incompatible with the most simple diplomatic courtesy and mutual respect". "Of course, it is not expected to solve the crisis and all problems in just one meeting, but we agreed on close cooperation, dialogue and working together to solve the problems and when we return to our countries, we will keep taking steps together to solve those problems and work on it".

Turkey has said the sanctions were unacceptable.

How did the jailing of a United States pastor lead to sanctions on Turkey?

Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo said Brunson's case would be high on his list of items to discuss with his Turkish counterpart. "We have repeated this today". The Turks have also vowed to retaliate for the sanctions "without delay".

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that Brunson was a "victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey" as she announced sanctions.

Under the sanctions to be imposed by the Treasury Department, any property, or interest in property, belonging to Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul or Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu within US jurisdiction would be blocked.

Two Turkish employees of USA consulates in Turkey are also now in jail on terror charges, and another is under house arrest, while several Americans have been caught up in the crackdown that followed a failed 2016 coup.

Fifty-year-old Brunson faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups, which Turkey considers to be terror organizations. The sanctions also prevent American citizens from doing any business with the two ministers.

The Turkish lira on Wednesday slumped to record lows of 5.0 against the dollar as the USA hit Turkey's justice and interior ministers with sanctions over the case of an American pastor on trial for terror-related charges. Ankara blames Gulen for the coup attempt, while the cleric denies involvement.

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