US can’t achieve results with sanctions, Turkish FM says

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu / AFP

The United States has to learn that it can’t achieve results with sanctions, threats and pressure on Turkey, the Turkish foreign minister has said, reiterating that Ankara is ready to find a solution to the ongoing row through dialogue and diplomacy, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“It’s impossible for us to accept these sanctions and threats. Our expectation from the US is to remain loyal to our traditional friendship and our NATO alliance,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an address to Turkish ambassadors during an annual conference in Ankara on Monday.

The United States has imposed political and economic sanctions on Turkey over the continued detention of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. Washington has threatened that more sanctions could be imposed if the cleric is not released and sent home.

“Turkey is one of the most investible countries despite all campaigns against it,” Çavuşoğlu said in response to the country’s currency crisis.

The Turkish lira has been in free fall since relations with the US were strained over a court decision to put Brunson under house arrest after almost two years of imprisonment. A Turkish delegation went Washington last week to discuss the situation with US officials but reportedly returned home empty-handed.

“The US is in confusion. ‘Should we resolve this problem with Turkey, or should we maintain it until the November elections?’” Çavuşoğlu said, referring to mid-term congressional elections.

The minister stressed that the US should learn that they will not achieve any results with sanctions while calling for more dialogue and diplomacy.

“Turkey has done enough to repair ties,” he said, underlining that the culture of compromise requires both sides’ steps for resolving questions.

Çavuşoğlu also recalled that the US has not taken any concrete step on Turkey’s extradition request for Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating a July 2016 coup attempt by the Turkish government, although he strongly denies any involvement, and has acted contrary to the alliance regarding the fundamental security issues of Turkey.

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