The pro-Erdoğan Turkish Yeni Şafak daily claimed on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence are pondering a “crusade,” saying the US is run by the “lunatics of a deviant sect.”
“The world is facing the attacks of the Zionist-Christian sect of evangelicalism. The ‘superpower’ US is run by neocon evangelicals who espouse wiping out humanity to get to paradise. The lunatics of this deviant sect, US President Trump, who can shake the markets with a tweet, and his deputy Pence are a threat to humanity,” said the daily in its lead story.
“If Pence becomes president, it will pave the way for the US turning into a religious state,” the daily asserted, adding that Trump has been using the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey to get the support of evangelicals in the November 2018 congressional elections.
Yeni Şafak’s story was also shared on the websites of the Sabah, Takvim and Akşam newspapers, which are run by people close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkey has been experiencing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision to put American pastor Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.
Following the court ruling Trump and Pence threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey if Brunson were not freed.
After declaring economic sanctions on two Turkish ministers on Aug. 1 for their role in Brunson’s continuing detention, Trump on Aug. 10 ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
“Some unaware people among us think that their target is Tayyip Erdoğan. No, the target is Turkey. The target is Islam,” Erdoğan said on Aug. 26, linking regional conflicts and the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey to previous attempts to invade Anatolia.
Erdoğan on Aug. 20 said “attacks against the Turkish economy are no different than attacking the adhan [call to prayer] and the flag.”