Turkey to freeze assets of ‘US justice, interior ministers’ – Erdogan

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing AK Party congress in Ankara on August 4, 2018. (AA)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces retaliatory measures against the United States after Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the detention of a US pastor.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said he was asking Turkish authorities to freeze the assets in Turkey of the US ministers of “justice and interior”, in response to Washington’s sanctions on the detention of an American pastor.

“Today I will give our friends instructions to freeze the assets in Turkey of the American justice and interior ministers, if they have any (such assets),” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Ankara.

The US on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

‘This is not logic’

Speaking about the US move to freeze assets of Turkish justice and interior ministers, Erdogan said: “This is not logic.”

Erdogan said the Turkish nation will not step back because of “threatening rhetoric and silly decisions” of sanctions.

“Especially the latest step by America regarding pastor Brunson issue in Izmir, is an ill-fitted step for a strategic partner,” he added.

TRT World’s Andrew Hopkins reports from Ankara.

No to ‘lose-lose’ games

Erdogan, however, insisted that Turkey did not want to see a “lose-lose” scenario emerge in ties with the US.

“We don’t want to be a party to lose-lose games. Moving political and judicial disputes into an economic dimension will be harmful for both sides,” Erdogan said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies