President Trump often boasted of his energy impact on many of the world’s leaders, including Putin or Kim Jong-un, claiming that he could win over any of them. However, with Erdogan there was an obvious misfire, which casts doubt on this maxim.
After several weeks of apparent improvement in relations between the US and Turkey this week, the situation deteriorated sharply, and Trump threatened to “impose big sanctions” on Twitter on the country in connection with the continued detention of the American pastor, the Rev. Andrew Brunson. A few days ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously adopted legislation that will use the US influence on the World Bank to prevent financial assistance to Turkey as long as Branson and other US citizens remain in prison. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey responded to the threats: “No one dictates the conditions of Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anyone. ”
About a dozen Americans were among the thousands of people who were imprisoned in Turkey, often by far-fetched proposals, as part of the security measures that followed the attempted coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. In particular, the Branson case did not leave indifferent all evangelical Christians in the United States.
The pastor, originally from North Carolina, lived with his family in Izmir for 23 years, until he was arrested in October 2016. He was charged, with virtually no obvious evidence in organizing the coup, as well as in relations with the Kurdish fighting group.