By Kubra Chohan
Turkey on Thursday slammed remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump after he threatened the country with sanctions unless Ankara releases a detained American pastor.
“No one dictates Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted.
In an attempt to interfere with NATO-member Turkey's judiciary, Trump tweeted: "The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson."
In a statement the Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said: “Turkey is a sovereign state with a deep-rooted democratic tradition and political order which upholds the supremacy of law.
“No one can give orders to Turkey and threaten our country. The rhetoric of threat against Turkey is unacceptable."
Brunson was transferred to house arrest Wednesday after being detained in the Aegean province of Izmir in December 2016. He was charged with spying for the PKK -- a designated terrorist group in the U.S. and Turkey -- and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group Turkey accuses of orchestrating the defeated July 2016 coup attempt.
Aksoy said that Turkey has displayed necessary political will and done its part to improve relations with the U.S.
“It is impossible to accept the U.S. Administration’s threatening messages, which totally disregard our alliance and friendly relations,” he added.
Aksoy called on the U.S. “to leave aside this wrongful rhetoric and come back to the existing framework of constructive dialogue that we have been engaged in so far".
He added: “With regard to the Brunson case, necessary information has been provided to our U.S. counterparts on various occasions and it has been clearly expressed that this issue is totally within the competence of the independent Turkish judiciary.”
Earlier, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet threatened to impose "significant sanctions on Turkey until this innocent man of faith is free".
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