Turkish president’s spokesman: US needs to take Turkey’s security concerns 'seriously'

Turkish president’s spokesman: US needs to take Turkey’s security concerns 'seriously'
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The spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey can continue if the U.S. addresses Turkey’s security concerns.

“The relationship can be saved and improved provided that the U.S. administration takes Turkey’s security concerns seriously,” spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote in a column for the Turkish pro-government newspaper the Daily Sabah.

Kalin's remarks come amid heightened tensions between the Turkish and U.S. governments over the imprisonment of an American pastor in Turkey. U.S. officials have said the pastor's capture was based on false terrorism and espionage charges.

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Trump threatened to impose heavy sanctions on Turkey Thursday, after a court ordered that the pastor, Andrew Brunson, be placed under house arrest for the remainder of his trial.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu responded in a tweet by saying that “noone dictates Turkey” and that the country “will never tolerate threats from anybody.”

Kalin wrote in a column Saturday that the Turkish-U.S. relationship “has to be mutual and mutually respectful and beneficial.”

He added that Turkey has not aligned itself with groups harmful to U.S. interests, “and it expects the U.S. to do the same.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE may have good intentions for relations with President Erdogan and Turkey. This will certainly be reciprocated when the relationship is based on mutual respect and shared interest,” Kalin wrote.