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American pastor more excuse than reason for US-Turkey staredown

While the US administration continues to demand Ankara free pastor Andrew Brunson, skeptical analysts are debating whether the motivations for this are votes in the upcoming midterm elections or a reset with a Turkey whose interests no longer align with the United States'.

Turkey continues to accuse the United States of waging an “economic war” amid the standoff between the NATO allies over an American pastor Washington calls a political hostage and Ankara a suspected terrorist and spy.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin repeated the claim on Aug. 22 that US sanctions on Turkey including stiffened trade tariffs, which have sent the Turkish currency into free-fall, are aimed at unraveling the country’s once vibrant economy. “The Trump administration is targeting a NATO ally as part of an economic war,” he told Reuters in a statement.

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