20:59 GMT +323 October 2018
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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 25, 2018.

    Erdogan: US Using Pastor Brunson Issue as Pretext to Impose Sanctions

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    The Turkish president noted that Ankara has been making progress in relations with the US and expressed his hope to improve them as soon as possible, adding, however, that Washington should fix its approach towards Turkey.

    According to Erdogan, the Brunson case is just a pretext to implement a new set of sanctions on Turkey.

    He also noted that Ankara won't give up on free market rules, stressing that Washington has lost credibility by engaging in trade wars with the world.

    The US previously imposed sanctions against Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu over the Brunson case, while also doubling steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, up to 50 and 20 percent, respectively.

    READ MORE: OECD Revises Turkey's Real GDP Growth Forecast After US Tariffs — Report

    Relations between the two countries started to deteriorate after US Evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson was jailed in 2016 for his alleged ties to the movement founded by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara. Turkey has accused Gulen and his movement of orchestrating the failed 2016 military coup.

    The missionary was later placed under house arrest, as a court refused to release Brunson and let him leave the country.

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    Tags:
    detention, sanctions, Andrew Brunson, Fethullah Gulen, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, United States
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