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Turkey fumes over US sanctions, vows to retaliate

The US sanctions may make the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is at the heart of the current US-Turkey crisis, much harder for Ankara.

US sanctions against Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson have been met with fury and defiance in Ankara. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is vowing with new determination not cave to pressure from Washington and says commensurate sanctions against the United States are on the way.

The US Treasury Department accused the two ministers of “being responsible for the arrest and detention of pastor Andrew Brunson” as well as “implementing Turkey’s serious human rights abuses.” The Treasury decision follows the threats by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of serious sanctions if Brunson is not released immediately and all charges against him dropped.

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