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"At the president's direction, the Department of the Treasury is sanctioning Turkey's minister of justice and minister of interior, both of whom played leading roles in the arrest and detention of Pastor Brunson". "We will get it", Soylu wrote on his official Twitter account.

The US imposed financial sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers yesterday for detaining an American pastor accused of backing a coup attempt against President Erdogan.

Sanders said the USA would block "any property, or interest in property of the two ministers". Pompeo and Cavusoglu spoke by phone about Brunson's detention earlier Wednesday and are expected to meet on the margins of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this week in Singapore, she said.

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday strongly protested against U.S. Treasury Department's decision, calling on the U.S. administration to reverse its "wrong decision".

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Brunson risks up to 35 years in jail over charges that he acted on behalf of two groups viewed as terrorists by Ankara: the movement led by Gulen and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Vice President Mike Pence urged Turkey to release Brunson or face consequences.

Brunson was held for almost two years in prison on terror-related charges before he was moved last week to house arrest. Although the woman was released and deported to Istanbul, the Turkish court hearing Brunson's case agreed last week only to allow him to leave prison for house arrest while his trial continued.

"President Trump concluded that these sanctions are the appropriate action", he said. He was accused of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party and USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is alleged by the Turkish government to have been behind much of the unrest.

But Erdogan retorted that Turkey does not have the "slightest problem against religious minorities".

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Trump later tweeted that work on documents was "moving along quickly", adding that the meeting with Juncker had "great warmth". In exchange, Trump said he won access for United States soybean producers, and for American natural gas .

Relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies were already strained by Washington's support for a Syrian Kurdish militia and the failure to extradite the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the 2016 failed coup.

Turkey is also angry at the United States for its refusal to extradite Gulen, who lives in exile in rural Pennsylvania and vehemently denies that he masterminded the failed 2016 coup bid.

The imposition of sanctions on the two ministers is sure to fuel the fire.

Washington accused the two ministers of leading government organisations behind "serious human rights abuses".

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Anticipation of the US sanctions had already helped to send the Turkish lira to an all-time low against the dollar on Wednesday.


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