Erdogan says Turkey to complete 1,000 projects in 100 days

04 August, 2018, 18:29 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • US Pastor Andrew Brunson is seen inside a car escorted by Turkish plain-clothes police officers as he arrives at his house

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will freeze the assets in Turkey of U.S. "justice and interior" secretaries, state-run Anadolu reported.

"Everyone's very disappointed. Nobody expected this kind of treatment (toward) two Cabinet ministers", said Ilnur Cevik, a senior adviser to Turkish strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

While Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu had agreed to resolve the situation in a meeting with Pompeo, he also says that the threatening language and sanctions from the United States won't get them anywhere.

Meanwhile, Pompeo noted that Brunson's detainment was just one of many issues the USA has with Turkey - for instance, Turkey's ongoing detention of three Turkish employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul.

The lira hit an all-time low of 5.11 versus the dollar on Friday after the United States sanctioned two of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ministers who played a key role in detaining American pastor Andrew Brunson.

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"I hope they'll see this for what it is: a demonstration that we're very serious", he said.

"The decision, which disrespectfully intervenes in our judicial system, will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries", Ankara's foreign ministry said.

The FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of 2016, which left at least 250 people dead and almost 2,600 wounded.

He was accused of helping supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.

Brunson, who was arrested in 2016 and is now under house arrest pending trial, denies the allegations. He is facing a 35-year sentence if convicted of the charges of "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member" and espionage.

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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.

The lira hit a record low of 5.0934 to the dollar, recovering to trade at 5.0605 by 1434 GMT.

The United States has also been seeking the release of three locally employed embassy staff detained in Turkey.

The American pastor was also charged with supporting outlawed Kurdish PKK fighters.

Top U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, have said there is no evidence against Brunson and demanded his release.

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