Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday the US administration should leave aside “wrongful rhetoric” and return to “constructive dialogue” after US President Donald Trump warned of sanctions unless Ankara freed an American pastor.
“It is impossible to accept the US Administration’s threatening messages, which totally disregard our alliance and friendly relations between our countries,” spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
Trump: US to impose sanctions on Turkey
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Noone dictates Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) July 26, 2018
Spoke by phone w/ Pastor Andrew Brunson after his release from prison in Turkey. While out of prison, this man of faith is still under house arrest. Assured him @POTUS & our entire Admin will keep working to secure his full release & get him back to the USA #FreePastorBrunson
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 26, 2018
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously linked Brunson’s return to the US to the extradition of cleric Fethullah Gulen, the cleric Turkey’s government holds responsible for a failed July 2016 military coup.