Turkish justice minister says court’s Brunson decision was ‘just, fair and reasonable’

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Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül has said an İzmir court ruling to put American pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention was made with “justice, fairness and reason,” the CNN Türk news website reported on Tuesday.

The US imposed sanctions on Gül and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu over a Turkish court’s decision to move Brunson to house arrest after 22 months of detention on “terrorism” charges.

“Turkey has been a state of law for more than two thousand years. We will get through this period with law and reason. We retaliated by imposing sanctions on their cabinet secretaries, too,” Gül said during a panel discussion at İbn Haldun University in İstanbul.

“[The US move] is really a laughable choice. This attitude doesn’t comport with the behavior of a major country.”

The Turkish court’s decision has become the focus of a crisis between the US and Turkey, after which both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence posted angry tweets threatening Turkey with “large sanctions.”

The crisis affected the Turkish economy immediately, causing losses in Turkish lira, which hit 5.40 to the US dollar on Monday.

Following a decision to hold a meeting in Washington between Turkish and US officials, the lira firmed to 5.25 on Tuesday.

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