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Turkey rejects U.S. appeal to end pastor’s house arrest
Rich Edson reports on the escalating tensions over the detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson.
The Trump administration, Turkey had the offer for the release of imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson if the United States keeps the investigation in the Turkish bank Halkbank, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The Turkish government agreed to drop terrorism charges against the priest, the exchange of the U.S. government fines in the amount of billions of dollars against the bank. A Senior White House official said the offer was rejected.
“A real NATO allies would not Brunson arrested in the first place,” the official told the Journal.
Brunson was detained in Turkey in December 2016, to spy and to help terror charges, according to the defendants, a group which coordinates alleged to be the failed July 2016 military coup in the country. Both Brunson and the United States riding vehemently denied the accusations.
The White house has been meeting with the Turkey and the pressure on Ankara to release the pastor. The administration sanctioned Turkey is the justice and interior Ministers last month, and doubled the duties on steel and aluminum at the beginning of this month in an attempt to get Turkey to release the pastor.
“I’ve only doubling the duties on steel and aluminum, authorized with regard to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slipping quickly to the bottom against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum 20% steel, 50% is now,” Trump tweeted earlier this month. “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
I’ve only doubling the duties on steel and aluminum, authorized with regard to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slipping quickly to the bottom against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum 20% steel-50% is now. Our relations with Turkey are not good in this time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
The confrontation between Turkey and the United States has led to steep economic decline in Turkey. The Turkish lira fell from 4.7 to the dollar, a depleted 6.4 to the dollar, for the first time in the history of the 6 mark break.
TRUMP TARIFFS IN RETALIATION FOR THE IMPRISONED AMERICAN PASTOR TO SEND TO OVERTHROW THE ECONOMY OF TURKEY
Trump pressed the Turkish government on Thursday, saying the U.S. will not pay anything for the release of the pastor.
“Turkey is claimed by the United States for many years. You keep our wonderful Christian pastor, I need to ask questions to, our country as a great patriot hostage. We pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on the Turkey!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
Turkey uses the United States for many years. You keep our wonderful Christian pastor, I need to ask questions to, our country as a great patriot hostage. We pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on the Turkey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Earlier this month, US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the Turkish government expressed that the sanctions on Turkish officials and the White house are serious about the immediate release of Brunson, and others.
“The Turks were on notice that the clock had expired and it was returned in time for pastor Brunson, and I hope you will it as the see what it is: a demonstration that we are, he said very seriously,”. “Brunson needs to come home, like all Americans held by the Turkish government.”
“Pretty simple. Did you keep these people for a long time. These are innocent people,” he added, speaking to several other local employees of the U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey.
Fox News’ Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @Lukas mikelionis.