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Trump lashes out at Erdogan, threatens sanctions over Brunson

The strain between Turkey and the United States hits another high point as the US president threatened Ankara with "large sanctions" if it does not free detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Turkeyís President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS - RC1B9A3C2D00

Turkey's increasingly turbulent relationship with the United States lurched into uncharted waters following threats of "large sanctions" in a July 26 tweet from President Donald Trump over the continued detention of a North Carolina pastor in a Turkish prison. The US leader wrote, “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!”

The salvo came after a telephone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A readout of the conversation was not available as Al-Monitor went to press.

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