Turkey’s Difficult Situation

Turkey is between a rock and a hard place over this pastor and that is no lie.
Turkey is between a rock and a hard place over this pastor and that is no lie.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Donald Trump’s administration has rejected Turkey’s offer to condition the release of an American pastor on clearing a top Turkish bank of billions of dollars in US fines, media reported Monday.

Washington and Ankara are locked in a bitter feud over the nearly two-year jailing of Andrew Brunson over disputed terror charges, which has triggered a trade row and sent the lira into a tailspin.

In exchange for Brunson’s release, and that of other US citizens as well as three Turkish nationals working for the US government, Turkey asked Washington to drop a probe into Halkbank, which is facing possible fines for helping Iran evade US sanctions.

But the US said that discussions regarding the fines and other areas of dispute between the two countries were off the table until Brunson was released, a White House official told the Wall Street Journal.

“A real NATO ally wouldn’t have arrested Brunson in the first place,” the unnamed official said.

Trump has said he had doubled the tariffs on aluminum and steel tariffs from Turkey, prompting Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on several US products.

A court has rejected another appeal to free Brunson and Turkey has threatened to respond in kind if Washington imposed further sanctions.

See Also:

(1) Turkey’s been a poor excuse for a US ally for a long time now

(2) Andrew Brunson Case Proves U.S.-Turkey Alliance Has Been Over for Years

(3) World War 3? How the US tested ‘most dangerous nuclear weapon ever’ amid Turkey row

(4) Turkey’s moment of truth

(5) Turkey tanks

(6) Turkey’s President Erdogan Playing Chicken With Investors

(7) Shots fired at gate of US Embassy in Turkey; no one hurt

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