White House says Turkey treated pastor 'badly'

Andrew Brunson, US pastor held prisoner in Turkey, Photo Date: Undated / Photo: YouTube / (MGN)
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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Turkey's currency crisis (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

The White House says "we won't forget" how Turkey has treated a detained American pastor, after a court rejected his appeal for release.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that Andrew Brunson is "a very good person and a strong Christian who's done nothing wrong." She says that Turkey has treated him "very unfairly, very badly."

Brunson is at the center of a diplomatic spat between NATO allies Turkey and the United States, which has helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis.

Sanders also criticized Turkey's imposition of tariffs on some U.S. goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction." She wouldn't be drawn on whether the Trump administration would respond.

The U.S. has already doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey and slapped sanctions on two Cabinet ministers.

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Turkish media reports say a Turkish court has rejected an appeal for the release of an American pastor from detention.

Pastor Andrew Brunson's lawyer had on Tuesday renewed an appeal for the clergyman's release from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted.

Hurriyet newspaper said the court in Izmir rejected the appeal, but that a higher court would review the appeal.

Brunson is at the center of a diplomatic spat between NATO allies Turkey and the United States, which has helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis. The United States slapped financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey over his continued detention. Turkey retaliated on Wednesday with tariffs on certain US goods.

Brunson, 50, is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges, which he and the U.S. government vehemently deny.



 
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