Turkey to not give credit to threats, Erdoğan tells US over Brunson crisis
President Erdoğan attended the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP İsmail Göksel's funeral ceremony at the Turkish Parliament on August 1. (Photo: Anadolu Agency)
“Approaching us with threatening remarks will not earn anyone anything. We displayed the best solidarity with the U.S. at NATO. We were with them in Korea [War]. It will not be appropriate for Turkey that such a language of threat is used while having the highest level of solidarity at NATO. And excuse me but we will not give credit to such a threatening language,” Erdoğan told journalists on Aug. 1.
Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which Ankara blames for the failed coup in 2016. He was transferred to house arrest on July 25.
President Donald Trump said on July 26 that “the United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.”
The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation threatening to halt U.S. sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, despite signed contracts between the countries.
“It was noted in the meeting that the threatening language used by the U.S. against our country is disrespectful and unacceptable,” Turkey’s National Security Council statement said on July 30.
On August 1, Erdoğan also referred to the statement and added: “They need to know our character well. We had bilateral talks with them. We use a single discourse and a single language over the issue. I hope that my Foreign Minister [Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu] and his U.S. counterpart [Mike Pompeo] will meet. Yesterday’s statement from religious minorities was also very meaningful in this regard.”
“Statements alleging and suggesting there is oppression toward us are completely unfounded and injudicious,” representatives of Turkey’s religious communities had said in a joint statement, signed by the representatives of 18 religious minority groups, on July 31.