U.S. plans more sanctions against Turkey if pastor not released

U.S. plans more sanctions against Turkey if pastor not released

U.S. plans more sanctions against Turkey if pastor not released

Brunson's detention since October 2016 on terror-related charges has soured relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, sending the Turkish lira into a tailspin.

"They have not proven to be a good friend", Trump said of Turkey during the cabinet meeting. "They can't take our people".

The Trump administration has already sanctioned two Turkish leaders over the pastor's imprisonment.

Turkey is calling for the U.S.to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused engineering a 2016 coup attempt.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak assured global investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from its currency crisis, insisting its banks were healthy and signalling it could ride out the dispute with the United States. Investors, already anxious about Turkey's economy, were irked by a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States over the continued detention of an American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

The man has been detained by Turkish authorities for almost two years. "Give him [Gulen] to us", Erdogan said at the time. The two countries already disagree over USA support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, as well as a plan by Turkey to buy Russian missiles.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon, in a sign of a deepening spat.

The detained pastor has found himself in the middle of a diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara, which greatly escalated last week with Trump placing new tariffs on steel an aluminum imports - a move which has put significant pressure on Turkey.

Erdogan has called for a boycott of USA electronic goods and Turkish media has given extensive coverage to anti-US protests, including videos circulating on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.

Turkey is struggling to stabilize its currency after it plunged to a record low in a crisis that spurred fears of bankruptcies and a spillover effect in other emerging markets if Turkish firms can't pay back high foreign debt. "It is a shame", Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday.

"I call out to those in the United States".

Back in September 2017, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered the USA the opportunity to swap Brunson for Gulen himself.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during a meeting of President Donald Trump's cabinet.

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