Turkey 'will retaliate' over United States sanctions as crisis grows

Turkey 'will retaliate' over United States sanctions as crisis grows

The lira lost over 1.6 percent of its value against the greenback following Washington's move in response to Turkey keeping Pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest. "As do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government", he added.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson Friday, just before meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Singapore.

Before his move home last week, Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, had spent almost two years in jail.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk yesterday.

Turkey's President ordered the freezing of assets of two U.S. officials, state media reported Saturday, days after the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers.

Erdogan said Turkey will never step back from defence industry projects, saying 48 out of the 400 projects are related to the defence industry.

"I am instructing my friends today, we will freeze assets, if there are any, of the USA justice and interior secretaries in Turkey", Erdogan, speaking at a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party meeting in Ankara, was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

Erdogan, who is known for his sometimes provocative anti-Western rhetoric, has yet to comment.

Prosecutors portray Trump's ex-campaign chief as a liar and tax cheat
One big question is the role Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates will play in the trial. It was Gates, the defense said, who was supposed to keep track of the money Manafort earned.

Pompeo remarks came just two days after the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over Brunson's case. The penalties also bar any United States transactions with the two men.

The pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, faces as many as 35 years in jail if found guilty.

Top U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, have said there is no evidence against Brunson and demanded his release.

The pastor denies the charges while United States officials have publicly insisted that Brunson is innocent and should be freed.

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the USA focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday that he expects the roadmap in Syria's Manbij to continue with the United States, without being affected by the recent tensions.

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