The US warned it would levy more sanctions on the troubled Turkish economy if Ankara does not soon release a jailed American pastor described by President Donald Trump as a “hostage”.
Deepening a spat that has rattled financial markets and threatens to split a long-standing defense and political alliance, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon.
Trump tweeted, the Protestant clergyman, who has been detained since 2016 when he was arrested in a government crackdown following a failed coup bid, was a “great patriot” being held “hostage”.
Analysts say Turkey is likely to seek a more dynamic economic relationship with China and Russia, with whom ties have warmed considerably in recent years. Turkey has also in recent days shown an interest in repairing ties with Europe.