Relations between United States and Turkey sour over detained pastor

Author (Person)
Publication Date 15/08/2018
Content Type


The United States announced on 1 August 2018 the introduction of sanctions on two members of Turkey's cabinet over the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, held in prison for spying and terror-related charges.

Turkey later retaliated by raising tariffs on certain US products by up to 140 percent and announced a boycott on US electronic components. This followed a further announcement by the United States' authorities which doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium.

The increased tension between the two countries aggravated Turkey's currency crisis, with the lira sharply dropping its value against the dollar and sparking concerns over the country's economic situation.

Further information:

Mr Brunson is a long-term resident in Turkey. He lived with his wife and three children while working as the pastor of the small Izmir Resurrection Church. The authorities accused him of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in July 2016.

In the meantime, Turkey's economy was showing signs of deterioration for months when the sanctions were announced, amidst the decline of the national currency and rising inflation.

Related Links
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 21.08.18: Germany’s Way with Turkey
Spiegel Online, 17.08.18: Hot Heads. Erdogan-Trump Tiff Endangers Turkish Economy and NATO
BBC News, 02.08.18: US hits Turkey with sanctions over jailed pastor
Politico, 01.08.18: US sanctions Turkish officials over detained pastor
Politico, 13.08.18: Turkey’s Erdoğan digs in as currency tumbles
Deutsche Welle, 05.08.18: Andrew Brunson case: US takes narrow view in dispute with Turkey over pastor
Daily Sabah, 04.08.18: US moves in Brunson case disrespectful, does not reflect strategic partnership: Erdoğan
ECFR: Commentary, 02.08.18: The pastor, the banker, and the irresistible drama in Turkish-US relations
Reuters, 10.08.18: Issues leading to the tailspin in U.S.-Turkey relations
BBC News, 17.08.18: US threatens more action against Turkey unless pastor freed
Euro|topics, August 2018: Turkey retaliates with tariffs on US products
Euro|topics, August 2018: Why is the Turkish lira plunging?
EurActiv, 14.08.18: Turkey crisis risks souring military ties with US
EurActiv, 17.08.18: Turkish instability threatens Europe from the Italian flank
LSE European Institute: EuroppBlog, 26.09.18: Why Turkey’s currency crisis is deepening the rift between Ankara and the West
Social Europe, 04.09.18: The Economic Costs Of Erdoğan
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 12.07.18: Turkey Is on the Road to a Severe Economic Crisis
Carnegie Europe: Article, 14.08.18: [Op-Ed]: The Autocratic Origins of Turkey’s Economic Crisis

Subject Categories
Countries / Regions ,