ISTANBUL– On Sunday, American pastor, broadcaster Haberturk reported, “Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will stand its ground after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap sanctions on Ankara”.
Erdogan is quoted as saying, “We will not take a step back when faced with sanctions. They should not forget that they will lose a sincere partner.”
The friendship between the United States and Turkey is on the line in this dispute, Erdogan was quoted by TRT Haber and other media. American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was transferred to house arrest this week after 21 months of detention in a Turkish prison, has worked in Turkey for more than two decades.
The State Department said, “Diplomats have been working to settle the tense dispute and on Saturday U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo discussed the status of the pastor with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu”. The pastor, who has denied the charges, faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty. Brunson has been accused of supporting the group Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in 2016 and Kurdistan Workers’ Party.