Trump Warns Turkey: Free Pastor Brunson or Face 'Large Sanctions'

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was in Iraq to warn Iraqi and Kurdish leaders against next month's independence referendum in the country's Kurdish region

President Donald Trump says the United States will impose sanctions on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey over a detained American pastor held on terror and espionage charges.

The court order came one day after Congress advanced a bill that would ban delivery of fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.

Andrew Brunson had already spent almost two years in detention on terrorism charges.

The Daily Sabah said the Second High Penal Court in Izmir ordered Wednesday that Brunson be moved to his home in Izmir due to "health issues".

At the end of a recent hearing, the court inside a prison complex in western Turkey rejected Brunson's lawyer's request that he be freed pending the outcome of the trial.

The court chose to allow Brunson to live at his address in Izmir, but barred him from "abandonment of residence" and also imposed a ban on him leaving the country.

"At the same time, this trial is not over".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously linked Brunson's return to the U.S. to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the cleric Turkey's government holds responsible for the failed July 2016 military coup.

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In response to steep tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, China has responded with tariffs of its own on American goods. The U.S. and its European allies are meeting as the dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for the pastor's release. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him! In a tweet, Trump asked Erdoğan to free the Christian pastor.

"We have worked closely with the president on this matter and are grateful for his efforts". Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man.

"We never wanted this bill to be necessary, but we warned the Turkish government that there would be consequences if it did not cease its unjust detention and harassment of USA citizens and locally employed embassy staff", Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said in a statement.

American pastor Andrew Brunson is being held in Turkey on accusations of terror and espionage.In a tweet, President Trump called Brunson "a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being". Still, Thursday's threat of sanctions marks a distinct escalation in rhetoric that coincides with a broader cooling in the US-Turkey relationship.

Shortly after the possibility of sanctions was first announced by Vice President Mike Pence Thursday, Trump wrote on Twitter that the U.S.

USA officials had been under the impression that the deal was in place, the source said, adding that when Brunson was not released, Pence spoke with Trump and the two agreed harsh new policy measures were needed to force the issue.

"While he is out of jail he is still not free", Pence said, addressing a conference on religious freedom."And to President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America".

In 2018, USCIRF placed Turkey on its Tier 2 list of countries noted for violations of religious freedom and began advocating for Brunson as a part of its Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.

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