Turkish parliament speaker calls US sanctions unlawful

Binali Yildirim condemns US sanctions on 2 Turkish ministers

Turkish parliament speaker calls US sanctions unlawful Turkish Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu


Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim has termed the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish ministers as "unlawful and extremely arbitrary".

"The sanctions decision taken by the U.S. Secretary of Treasury has targeted our Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and our Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, which is unlawful and extremely arbitrary," Yildirim said in a statement on Thursday.

"I strongly condemn this decision that is an indicator of a disrespectful manner on judicially process in Turkey," he added.

Yildirim called on the U.S. administration to reverse its decision.

On Wednesday night, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the U.S. was imposing 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.

Sanders said the U.S. would block "any property, or interest in property of the two ministers".

Brunson has been charged in Turkey with spying for the PKK -- a designated terrorist group in the U.S. and Turkey -- and U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey which martyred 251 people and injured thousands.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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