ANKARA: Turkey’s foreign minister told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in their call on Thursday that Turkey “will not bow down to anyone’s threats”, a foreign ministry source said, after President Donald Trump threatened to slap sanctions on Ankara.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also told Pompeo that the rule of law applies to everyone without exception, the source said on Friday.
Trump has threatened “large sanctions” against Turkey unless it freed an American pastor on trial for terrorism charges. The comment prompted angry responses from Ankara and escalated tensions between the two NATO allies.
The phone contact was made shortly after Turkey responded to remarks by US President Donald Trump after he threatened the country with sanctions unless Ankara releases a detained American pastor.
In an attempt to interfere with NATO-member Turkey’s judiciary, Trump tweeted: “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their longtime detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.”
Brunson was transferred to house arrest Wednesday after being detained in the Aegean province of Izmir in December 2016.
He was charged with spying for the PKK — a designated terrorist group in the US and Turkey — and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group Turkey says orchestrated the defeated July 2016 coup attempt.
Earlier, US Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet threatened to impose “significant sanctions on Turkey until this innocent man of faith is free.”