After US sanctions against two turkish ministers over american pastor detained in turkey, ankara tightens tone against washington.
The turkish government will take identical countermeasures "without delay", the auben ministry announced. However, the government in ankara did not announce any concrete sanctions against the USA on thursday.
Interior minister suleyman soylu – who is among those targeted by U.S. Sanctions – announced he would bring islamic preacher fethullah gulen, wanted as a coup plotter, from the U.S. To turkey. "We will not leave him there. We will get it!" How exactly he might have done that, dear soylu openly. U.S. So far refuses to extradite gulen as demanded by ankara.
In the past, turkish security forces have already brought suspected gulen supporters from abroad to turkey against their will. The latest conflict between washington and ankara has been sparked by the case of u.S. Pastor andrew brunson.
Brunson had been arrested in izmir in october 2016 – a few months after the attempted coup in turkey – and arrested the following december on terrorism charges. Recently he has been under house arrest. The U.S. Had on wednesday night imposed sanctions on turkish justice minister abdulhamit gul and interior minister soylu for playing "leading roles" in the case. The sanctions freeze possible assets of the ministers in the U.S., and U.S. Citizens are not allowed to do business with them.
Shortly after the decision, turkish minister mevlut cavusoglu threatened retaliation. A senior member of president recep tayyip erdogan’s ruling AKP party, bekir bozdag, said on thursday that turkey is not a country that can be intimidated with threats. Turkey will retaliate against the USA in the same way.
The announced counter-sanctions did not come immediately on thursday. The turkish side may want to wait and see what comes out of a meeting between egyptian minister cavusoglu and his u.S. Counterpart mike pompeo. A senior turkish government official told the german press agency that cavusoglu and pompeo were scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the asean regional forum in singapore on friday morning (CEST).
The caution beyond the sharp words could also be due to the fact that turkey is on extremely slippery ground. The economy struggled to recover from another low blow. Economic growth is rough – but inflation is massive, unemployment is high, and foreign investor confidence is low after an attempted coup, two years of exceptional rule, and total restructuring of the state under the new prasidial system. The threat of US sanctions alone had sent the lira to record lows on wednesday. After the sanctions were out of the bag, the downhill slide continued. The U.S. Dollar temporarily rose to 5.09 lira against the lira. The euro exchange rate reached a record 5.9 lira.
Finance minister (and president’s son-in-law) advat albayrak even felt compelled to send a written statement on thursday in which he assured that this "mistake" would have only a "limited" impact, according to state news agency anadolu. "Everyone can be sure that after a rebalancing our economy will grow again in a stable and sustainable way"."
Turkey and the U.S. Are also at cross-purposes on economic and security issues. In syria war, they have different targets, enemies and alliances.
Turkey does not want to participate in sanctions against iran demanded by the USA. Also, there’s the fact that turkey is buying the S-400 missile defense system from russia. At the same time, she wants F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. This shaft blocks the U.S. Senate mainly because of the case brunson. Senate also calls for sanctions against turkey if government buys russian s-400 system.
In the brunson affair, the growing anger of the u.S. President is clearly visible in his tweets. In april, donald trump wrote: "hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his wonderful family where he belongs." On 18. July then trump called the pastor already a "hostage" of turkey. Eight days later, the U.S. President then threatened "comprehensive sanctions.". Finally the collar burst. On wednesday (local time), trump’s spokeswoman sarah sanders announced that the threat would now be carried out.
From the U.S. Perspective, the accusations against brunson are far-fetched. "He did nothing wrong," trump wrote angrily on twitter. Brunson is accused, among other things, of maintaining ties to preacher fethullah gulen – who lives in exile in the u.S. And whose extradition erdogan has long demanded.
Is brunson a pawn, as the trump tweet with the "geisel" suggests?? Last september, erdogan said: "and then they tell us, give us that pastor. But you also have a pastor." Then he hinted that the two clergymen could be exchanged, brunson for gulen. At the same time, the government in ankara has repeatedly pointed out that the turkish judiciary is independent – something that experts dispute.
The sanctions a now even government and parts of the opposition. In a joint statement on thursday, several parties said they stood in solidarity with any steps erdogan’s government might take.