Turkey, Politics

Turkey calls US threatening language ‘unacceptable’

Chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, National Security Council blasts US threatening Turkey over Pastor Brunson case

Turkey calls US threatening language ‘unacceptable’

By Mumin Altas and Sarp Ozer


Turkey’s national security establishment on Monday blasted recent U.S. threatening language towards Turkey as out of bounds and disrespectful.

In a statement, the National Security Council said that the threatening language that the U.S. used towards Turkey shows disrespect for relations between two countries and is “unacceptable.”

The statement came after the National Security Council convened under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the first time it has done so since last month, when Turkey’s presidential system came into effect.

**The council also condemned the recent U.S. stance on defense industry projects on which "Turkey fulfills every kind of responsibilities," saying this stance would irreparably harm the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation threatening to halt U.S. sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, despite signed contracts between the countries, over issues such as Turkish arrests of U.S. nationals.

Relations between the countries soured after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over detained American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who was arrested in the Aegean province of Izmir in December 2016.

Brunson was charged with committing crimes, including spying for the PKK -- listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey -- and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt of July 2016.

Turkish prosecutors are seeking 15 years in prison for Brunson for committing crimes on behalf of terrorist groups without being a member, with up to 20 years for political or military espionage.

The council also said the country’s fight against terrorist groups including FETO, the PKK/PYD-YPG, and Daesh would continue with the same determination in the new era.

Stressing that the deal with the U.S. over Manbij would help resolve the Syria issue, the council said that measures to accelerate locals returning home were also reviewed. 

Concrete steps will start to be taken to secure places in Syria where terror groups are now active, it added. 

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the city in order to stabilize the region.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including many women and children. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.

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