Erdogan: U.S. gave us deadline to release pastor

Turkish President reveals the United States gave his country deadline to release detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Ben Ariel,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Reuters

The United States gave Turkey a deadline until last Wednesday to release an American pastor being tried by a Turkish court, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

The case of Andrew Brunson is one of a series of disputes that lies at the heart of deteriorating ties between the two countries.

Brunson, who has been detained in the country for more than year on terrorism charges, is accused of working with Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric who Erdogan claims orchestrated a failed coup in 2016.

Speaking to supporters in the Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon, Erdogan revealed details of negotiations held last week between the two countries, saying Washington had threatened sanctions if Turkey refused to release the pastor.

Frustrated with his continuing detention, U.S. President Donald Trump last week imposed higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, including a 20 percent duty on aluminum and a 50 percent duty on steel.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has vowed to "retaliate" against the U.S. sanctions, calling the American move a "hostile stance".

At the same time, Turkey’s trade minister on Friday implored Trump to return to the negotiating table, saying the trade rift between the NATO allies can and should be resolved through dialogue.


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