Trump Warns Turkey over Detained Pastor

Andrew Brunson has been held in Turkey for almost two years over alleged links to outlawed political groups.

Last month, at Brunson's third court hearing in almost two years, U.S. officials thought they had brokered a deal to free him by pressuring Israel to release a Turkish citizen imprisoned there.

Almost 10 million people use USA iPhones in Turkey, press reports said, adding that the amount paid for the products hit 7 billion dollars in 10 years.

Calling once again for Turkey to release Pastor Andrew Brunson Friday, President Donald Trump had harsh words for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally before leaving the White House Friday for Southhampton, New York. They told us to release Brunson immediately, they want him back in the U.S. without any bargain.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said additional USA sanctions are ready if Turkey refuses to release an American pastor whom the Trump administration says is illegally detained.

Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some U.S. products.

Turkey vowed it would not succumb to threats.

"They have not proven to be a good friend", Trump said of Turkey during the Cabinet meeting.

According to the Hurriyet Daily, a significant number of importers have begun to withdraw their short and long-term orders after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal to boycott US electronic products on Tuesday.


He called Mr Brunson "a great patriot hostage".

Additional US sanctions against Turkey could be imposed if Mr Brunson is not freed.

The US insists the pastor, a long-time Turkish resident, is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention".

The White House is sending a clear message to Turkey that it must release American pastor Andrew Brunson to ease the growing tensions between the two countries.

The influential Protestant evangelical church in the United States is a major support base for Mr Trump.

He has denied the charges, and his case has been taken up by US President Donald Trump, who counts evangelical Christians among his core supporters. The US has refused to extradite Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

The Turkish lira has become volatile again at the end of a tumultuous week, after the United States warned of more sanctions against Turkey.

In an article for the New York Times, published last Friday, the Turkish leader said Turkey "had rushed to America's help whenever necessary" in various times, from the Cold War to the more recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

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