US Treasury imposes sanctions on Turkish officials over detention of American pastor
BREAKING: The White House has announced that the Treasury Department is imposing sanctions on Turkish officials over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.
“Pastor Brunson’s unjust detention and continued prosecution by Turkish officials is simply unacceptable,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the United States expects Turkey to release him immediately.”
The administration said the two sanctioned officials — Turkey’s Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu — both played leading roles in the organizations responsible for Brunson’s arrest and detention. The sanctions effectively block any property or interest in property controlled by them in the U.S., and bar Americans from engaging in transactions with them.
Brunson, an evangelical pastor, was arrested in December 2016 and jailed. He was recently released to home detention.
In his efforts to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey, President trump asked Prime Minister Netanyahu if he would release Turkish terrorist Ebru Ozkan, a Muslima arrested in Israel on terror charges. The day after Ozkan was deported from Israel.
The deal apparently fell apart on Wednesday, when a Turkish court, rather than sending the pastor home, ordered that he be transferred to house arrest while his trial continues.