Erdoğan blasts Trump adm for sanctions over U.S pastor

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday accused the United States of cooperating with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoots in Syria and slammed the Trump administration for its decision to apply sanctions against Turkey due to the detention of a U.S. pastor accused aiding terrorist groups, pro-government Sabah daily reported.

Erdoğan’s address to members of parliament at the reopening of the Turkish parliament follows a trip to New York, where he attended the United Nations General Assembly. Erdoğan met with U.S. President Donald Trump - whose decision to apply sanctions on two Turkish ministers and double Turkey’s steel tariffs over Turkey’s detention of pastor Andrew Brunson, has fuelled the diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara - on the sidelines of the event.

‘’For instance, the Halkbank trial is a an example of lawlessness. We are determined to fight this distorted understanding, which applies sanctions citing a pastor - who has dark relations with terror organisations - as an excuse, within the parameters of diplomacy and the rule of law,’’ Erdoğan said regarding the Halkbank trial, which unveiled an Iran sanction-breaking scheme involving Turkish state officials and bankers. ‘’It is our prime responsibility to protect the rights and laws of our country in the face of those who see Turkey as a tribal community as opposed to a democratic state of law.’’

Turkey’s strongman stressed that the United States will inevitably change its perception of Turkey for the better and the two NATO allies will re-develop a strategic alliance in political and economic fields.

The United States has stressed the release of Brunson, whose next court hearing is set for Oct. 12, is a prerequisite to ending the crisis between Washington and Ankara. 

Erdogan said, "The U.S. has completely lost its credibility. After what we went through, it is impossible for any other country to look at their relationships with the U.S. trustfully. The Turkish economy is strong enough not to collapse by attacks."