Sanctions imposed on Turkish officials

first_imgWASHINGTON — The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it is imposing sanctions on Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu over the continued detention of 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.”As a result of the sanctions, any property or interest in property of the two Turkish officials within U.S. jurisdiction will be blocked, and U.S. persons will be generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, officials said.The move comes after President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened on Twitter to impose “large sanctions” against Turkey over the imprisonment of Brunson, who has been accused by Turkish authorities of supporting terrorist groups. U.S. officials say he is innocent.Turkey’s nearly two-year detention of Brunson has caused a deep strain in relations between Ankara and Washington. The pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was released from prison by a Turkish court last month. But in a surprise move, the court ordered that he remain under house arrest.last_img read more