On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed the plight of American pastor Andrew Brunson who has been detained in Turkey for nearly two years. “Turkey has, in my opinion, acted very, very badly.”
The President told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “They have a wonderful Christian man, Pastor Brunson. They should have given him back a long time ago.”
The statement comes as part of an escalating, months-long war of words between the two nations. Recent U.S. sanctions imposed on Turkey have added to an economic crisis for the world’s 17th largest economy. “Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies,” said Turkish President Recep Erdogan in a New York Times op-ed last week.
Trump has not been deterred. “They made up this phony charge that he’s a spy, and he’s not a spy,” said Trump on Friday, referring to Brunson. “Turkey has been a problem for a long time. They have not acted as a friend. We are not going to take it sitting down. They can’t take our people. So you will see what happens.”
The veiled threat reveals how suddenly and significantly the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey has deteriorated. The liberty and well-being of a pastor hangs in the balance.
"Turkey has been a problem for a long time… we are not going to take it sitting down. They can't take our people" the president told reporters of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who Turkey accuses of espionage https://t.co/D4Y89a0D04 pic.twitter.com/9D7kY7q1A2
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) August 17, 2018
Taken from: The Stream