No interruption in Turkey-US military relations, says Pentagon
Despite the growing tensions between the United States and Turkey, the Pentagon said the military relationship between Washington and Ankara has not deteriorated.
“There has been no interruption in our relationship with Turkey at all,” U.S. Army Col Rob Manning told reporters on Aug. 20 when asked if the tit-for-tat tariffs were impacting ties with the NATO ally, CNBC reported.
Relations between the NATO allies have soured in recent weeks following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on Turkish officials over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey over terrorism charges.
In retaliation, Turkey increased tariffs on several products of U.S. origin.
Ankara, which accused the U.S. of waging an “economic war” as part of a plot to harm the country, doubled its tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent and on leaf tobacco to 60 percent.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Reuters on Aug. 20, U.S. President Donald Trump ruled out agreeing to any demands from Turkey to gain the release of Brunson.
“I think it’s very sad what Turkey is doing. I think they’re making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions,” Trump said.