Turkey threatens retaliation over US sanctions

Turkey threatens retaliation over US sanctions
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Turkey's foreign ministry warned on Wednesday that it would respond to U.S. sanctions imposed on two Turkish officials "without delay."

In a statement, the foreign ministry said that it "strongly protests" the sanctions against Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. A translation of the statement was provided by The Associated Press.

Those sanctions were imposed earlier Wednesday in response to Ankara's refusal to release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who had been imprisoned and then detained in his home by the Turkish government on charges of terrorism and espionage.

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The Turkish government alleges that Brunson was involved in a failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. 

"Pastor Brunson’s unjust detention and continued prosecution by Turkish officials is simply unacceptable," Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTop economic adviser warned Trump on reelection chances ahead of China truce: report The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE said in a statement.

The sanctions came days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE and Vice President Pence threatened penalties on Turkey if government officials did not allow Brunson to return to the U.S. 

The pastor was released from jail last month after a year-and-a-half behind bars and placed under house arrest. But on Tuesday, a Turkish refused Brunson's request to allow him to return to the U.S.