Turkey’s Erdoğan: US behaving like ‘wild wolves’ amid sanctions

Turkey’s Erdoğan: US behaving like ‘wild wolves’ amid sanctions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday lashed out at the U.S. over its sanctions against Ankara, saying it has acted like "wild wolves."

"America behaves like wild wolves. Don't believe them," Erdoğan told a business forum during a visit to Kyrgyzstan, according to Yahoo News.

Erdoğan also told attendees that Turkey would look into non-dollar investments and transactions when making deals with other countries. The Turkish economy has suffered in the wake of U.S. sanctions implemented last month.

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"Using the dollar only damages us. We will not give up. We will be victorious," Erdoğan said.

The Turkish president added that officials are working on a possible trade deal with Russia, which has also been the target of U.S. sanctions.

The Trump administration cranked up economic pressure last month on Erdoğan in an effort to free Andrew Brunson, an American pastor detained in Turkey since 2016. The White House doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, and the Treasury Department blocked Turkey’s interior and justice ministers from the U.S. financial system.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner Mnuchin5 things to know about Trump's escalating trade war with China On The Money: Trump signs first 2019 'minibus' spending package | Mueller probing transactions by Russian organizers of Trump Tower meeting | Stocks brush off trade fears On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP MORE hinted last month that the U.S. would likely target more of Erdoğan's top officials if Turkey refused to let Brunson return to the U.S.

Thus far, Turkey has refused to acquiesce to the Trump administration's demands, and Brunson remains detained.

Brunson has worked in Turkey for 23 years as the pastor of the Resurrection Church. He was detained more than a year ago for an alleged connection to a failed coup against Erdoğan in 2016. He has denied the charges.