BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the United States were “choosing a pastor instead of its ally” while commenting on the ongoing diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara over the arrest of Pastor Andrew Brunson, in the north-eatern Turkish town of Ordu on Saturday.
Erdogan accused the US of turning their back on Turkey, and said Ankara was “annoyed” and “upset” by US Treasury sanctions against the Turkish justice and interior ministers and US President Donald Trump’s doubling of metal tariffs against the country.
“Threatening Turkey like this won’t work. We are a state of law. And as a state of law we never walk out of the line of law. If they have their dollars we have our Allah.”
A financial shockwave shook Turkey on Friday when its currency, the Turkish Lira, tumbled more than 16 percent amid concerns over Ankara’s deteriorating relations with Washington. On the same day, Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on steel and alluminium imports from Turkey, in protest over the detention of Brunson.
The pastor was arrested two years ago over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdish PKK party and to the Fetullah Gulen movement which Erdogan claims was behind the 2016 attempted coup.