Relations between the US and Turkey have deteriorated of late for various reasons, including the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, the purchase of Russian-made weapons systems by Ankara and tariff issues.
According to Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın, Ankara has been deeply disappointed by Washington’s actions, which had almost broken ties between the countries.
“Because of one pastor, the US has brought relations with a country like Turkey, to an almost complete halt. They know perfectly well our attitude towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and promised to do something about it, but in reality, their approach didn’t satisfy us. There is still the problem with FETO [the movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen], whose head is still in the US; he is working there, his schools are working, his activities are continuing. Our disappointment is profound,” he told reporters.
Earlier this week US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel, triggering a financial crisis in Turkey. The US also introduced sanctions against Turkish ministers due to the case of the evangelical missionary Andrew Brunson.
The pastor was detained by the authorities two years ago, as they believed that he was tied to the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in the US. Turkey repeatedly urged the US to ban the movement, which Ankara considered to be responsible for the coup attempt in 2016.