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The Latest: Turkey calls US threats over pastor unacceptable

July 26, 2018
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Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, July 25, 2018 An American pastor who had been jailed in Turkey for more than one and a half years on terror and espionage charges was released Wednesday and will be put under house arrest as his trial continues. Andrew Craig Brunson, 50, an evangelical pastor originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was let out of jail to serve home detention because of "health problems," Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said. (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S.-threatened sanctions on Turkey over a detained American pastor (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Turkey says it’s unacceptable for the United States to threaten sanctions over a detained American pastor.

In a statement released Thursday, the spokesman for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) says the detention of pastor Andrew Brunson “falls within the jurisdiction of (Turkey’s) independent judiciary.”

Ibrahim Kalin also warns the United States to “reconsider its approach and adopt a constructive position before inflicting further damage to its own interests and its alliance with Turkey.”

Earlier Thursday, President Donald Trump said the United States will impose sanctions on NATO ally Turkey, adding that Brunson “is suffering greatly” and called for his immediate release.

Brunson is an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina. He was detained after a failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

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1:30 p.m.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (MEHV’-loot chah-voo-SHOH’-loo) says his country doesn’t tolerate “threats.” His comment came shortly after President Donald Trump announced sanctions would be imposed on Turkey because of an American pastor detained on terror and espionage charges.

Cavusoglu says: “We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception.”

The statement was not explicitly directed toward the United States, but was posted in English on Twitter just a few hours after Trump — who also used Twitter — threatened sanctions.

Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been strained by the pastor case.

Andrew Brunson is an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina. He faces up to 35 years in prison in Turkey if convicted.

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11:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. will hit Turkey with “large sanctions” over a American pastor detained on terror and espionage charges, and he called for the pastor’s immediate release.

Tweeting from aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being.” Trump said Brunson “is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”

Just hours earlier, Vice President Mike Pence said that if Turkey does not take immediate action to free Brunson, “the United States of America will impose significant sanctions on Turkey.” Pence spoke at the close of a three-day conference in Washington on religious freedom.

Brunson, an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina, was let out of jail Wednesday, after 1 1/2 years, to serve house arrest because of “health problems.

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10:35 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is threatening NATO ally Turkey with economic sanctions over a detained American pastor held on terror and espionage charges.

Pence said Thursday that if Turkey does not take immediate action to free Andrew Craig Brunson, “the United States of America will impose severe economic sanctions on Turkey.” He spoke at the close of a three-day conference on religious freedom.

Brunson, an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina, was let out of jail Wednesday, after 1 1/2 years, to serve house arrest because of “health problems.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded Brunson’s release and said on Twitter last week that the pastor’s detention was “a total disgrace.”

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