Trump and Erdogan
Trump and Erdogan Reuters

The Trump Administration imposed sanctions on Turkish officials Wednesday over the imprisonment of a US pastor Wednesday.

“Pastor [Andrew] Brunson’s unjust detention and continued prosecution by Turkish officials is simply unacceptable,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the United States expects Turkey to release him immediately.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters: “We’ve seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey”

According to Bloomberg News, the Trump Administration compiled a list of individuals and institutions in Turkey to sanction if Pastor Andrew Brunson and other Americans are not freed.

The sanctions are based on the US sanctions in effect against Russia as well as associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Turkish lira dropped sharply in value in response to reports of the impending sanctions.

Last Thursday, US President Donald Trump threatened to impose economic sanctions on Turkey if Pastor Brunson was not released.

“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!” he tweeted.

Trump reportedly asked the Israeli government to release a Turkish citizen accused of aiding the Hamas terrorist organization as part of a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan to secure Brunson's release.

The president was reportedly furious when Erdogan refused to hold up his end of the deal.

The Turkish government has threatened to retaliate if the US imposes sanctions.

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