Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

U.S. Prepares List of Turkey Economic Sanctions Targets

U.S. Prepares List of Turkey Economic Sanctions Targets

A Turkish court rejected an appeal on Tuesday for an American pastor to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges, his lawyer said, in a case which has raised the threat of USA sanctions against Ankara.

On July 26, Trump announced in a tweet that if the Turkish government did not release Brunson, the US would impose "large" sanctions on Turkey.

The Turkish lira slid to a record low Wednesday after the White House announced it would sanction the country over the detention of a US pastor, dealing a fresh blow to what has been one of this year's worst-performing currencies.

Relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies were already strained by Washington's support for a Syrian Kurdish militia and the failure to extradite the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the 2016 failed coup.

Washington then on Wednesday slapped sanctions on Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. The sanctions against them prohibit US citizens from doing business with both men and block any of their property that rests within American jurisdiction.

According to the Treasury Department, Wednesday's sanctions were imposed in accordance with an executive order Trump signed in December pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act, a human rights measure Congress passed in 2016.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that sanction threats would not force Ankara to take a "step back", in comments reported on Sunday.

Over the course of 18 months, President Donald Trump has shown he's willing to use American economic might in ways his predecessors were too cautious - or too prudent - to risk.

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More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Lone Palestinian attackers have carried out multiple deadly stabbings and car-rammings against Israelis in recent years.

TRT World was joined by Jon Brain in Washington DC and Andrew Hopkins in Ankara for the latest.

Brunson's supporters maintain that the charges against him were fabricated.

"President Trump concluded that these sanctions are the appropriate action", he said.

The Turkish foreign ministry has previously described U.S. demands to release Mr Brunson as "unacceptable".

Turkey's foreign ministry did not waste time in hitting back, saying: "There is no doubt that this will greatly damage constructive efforts working to solve the issues between the two countries".

"The aggressive attitude of the USA serves no objective", it said in a statement, adding that Turkey would reciprocate "without delay".

Last week, Brunson was allowed to leave prison and remain under house arrest, but his request to leave Turkey was denied.

Though the sanctions designations on the two ministers were largely symbolic-and a far cry from broader sanctions on the financial sector the United States could deploy-they still sent the Turkish lira to a record low.

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