Turkey's Cavusoglu tells US' Pompeo threats and sanctions won't work

Turkey's Cavusoglu tells US' Pompeo threats and sanctions won't work

A leading Turkish opposition party wants to make it personal in the increasingly nasty clash between Ankara and Washington, saying Turkey should retaliate for economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration by seizing the Trump Towers complex that are one of the most prominent features of the Istanbul skyline.

"We have said from the start that the other side's threatening language and sanctions will not get any result".

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run out and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned and I hope they'll see this for what it is: a demonstration that we're very serious", he told reporters.

The row over Brunson escalated last week when US Vice President Mike Pence, like the pastor an evangelical Christian, said Turkey would face "significant sanctions" if this "innocent man of faith" was not freed.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Singapore, their first meeting since the crisis began.

Brunson is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges, which he and the US government vehemently deny. Their talks came after Washington imposed sanctions on two of Turkey's ministers over the trial of a U.S. pastor Andrew Craig Brunson accused of backing terrorism. Turkey has said the sanctions are unacceptable.

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The official went on to say he and Pompeo also discussed steps to strengthen ties between the two countries despite the new sanctions from the U.S.

"The decision, which disrespectfully intervenes in our judicial system, will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries", Ankara's foreign ministry said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that Brunson was a "victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey" as she announced sanctions.

The sanctions involve freezing any property or assets on the United States soil held by the two ministers.

Brunson, 50, was arrested in December 2016 following a failed coup on charges of "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member" and espionage. The sanctions also prevent American citizens from doing any business with the two ministers.

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