Turkey 'frustrated with Qatar silence' amid U.S. sanctions imposed on Ankara

15 August, 2018, 23:00 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Samantha Lee  Business Insider

The pastor is now being held under house arrest.

Asked how the Trump administration would react to any such Turkish boycott, Sanders replied during Tuesday afternoon's briefing, "I certainly don't have a policy announcement on that at this point".

The tensions reached a new peak last week when President Donald Trump announced trade sanctions against Ankara, sending the lira into a tailspin and raising fears of a full-blown economic crisis.

Turkey on Wednesday raised tariffs on a number products imported from the United States, including passenger cars, tobacco and spirits, retaliating for President Trump's decision last week to double tariffs on Turkish metals. The target products include, among others, cars, alcohol, and cosmetics, with rate hikes of 120%, 140%, and 60%, respectively. Although no further detail on the length and implementation of the boycott was provided, but significantly, the transcript of Erdoğan's speech on the Turkish presidency's website omitted the boycott announcement.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for Brunson, describing him as a "fine gentleman", a "Christian leader in the United States" and a "respected USA pastor" whose continued holding by Turkey was a "total disgrace".

On July 26, US Vice President Pence called on Turkish President Erdogan to release Brunson or face significant sanctions.

"We will boycott USA electronic goods", Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara, again showing no sign of compromise in the dispute.

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On Wednesday a Turkish court rejected an appeal for Brunson to be released from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted but an upper court is yet to rule on the appeal. "The pressure is going to keep up if we're not seeing results".

U.S. President Donald Trump and Erdogan, seen on July 11, have appeared to get on well personally, but the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have several areas of economic and political conflict. "I am planning to appeal again in 15 to 20 days, thinking there might be a new evidence in the file or there might be a new outcome of talks", the lawyer said.

"Although China does not want to upset the USA, it is in China's national interest to cooperate with Turkey, which is still a geo-strategically important country between Europe and Asia", he said. Brunson has denied both charges, which his supporters say are fabricated.

The United States and Turkey also have diverging interests over Syria, which is enmeshed in a protracted civil war.

"If (the United States) have the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side", he said, referring to USA giant Apple's iconic phone and the top South Korean brand.

U.S. Thom Tillis, R-NC, has done admirable work in bringing Brunson's incarceration to the attention of the world.

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK listed as a terrorist group by both the USA and Turkey and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

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