Turkey dismisses USA sanctions over detained pastor, vows dialogue

Turkey has repeatedly said Brunson's case is being handled by the courts and the government cannot intervene

Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned in Turkey for almost two years, has been moved to house arrest; religion correspondent Lauren Green reports from the State Department.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, said on Saturday he hopes the American held in Turkey will be released in the coming days.

The evangelical preacher, who had led a small congregation in the western Turkish city of Izmir for more than 20 years, was detained in October 2016.

Erdogan's remarks came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on the sidelines of a summit in Singapore on Friday and described the meeting as "constructive".

The NATO allies are also at odds over the Syrian war, Turkey's plan to buy missile defences from Russian Federation and the USA conviction of a Turkish state bank executive on Iran sanctions-busting charges this year.

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This comes after the USA slapped sanctions on Turkish government officials earlier this week for their role in his capture.

Erdogan said Turkey will never step back from defence industry projects, saying 48 out of the 400 projects are related to the defence industry.

He gave an nearly two hour policy speech in Ankara Friday, without once referring directly to the tensions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he has asked Turkish authorities to freeze the assets in Turkey of the U.S. ministers of "justice and interior", in response to Washington's sanctions over the detention of an American pastor.

After reports that the USA would sanction individuals over the case, the lira hit a record low of 5.01 against the dollar, before rallying slightly to 4.9.

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He was arrested in December 2016 following a failed coup in Turkey on charges of espionage and "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member" - allegations Brunson denies.

The standoff appears to be one of the most serious fallouts between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in modern history, along with the rows over the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

The pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, faces as many as 35 years in jail if found guilty.

Investors are dumping Turkey's national currency, the lira, after Washington imposed sanctions relating to the trial of an American pastor accused of backing terrorism.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is facing an "economic war" after the lira hit a fresh record low against the dollar amid rising tensions with Washington.

USA hits Turkey with sanctions over American pastor's detention
Other analysts said the sanctions on Turkish government officials would likely harden Turkey's position on other key issues. The US has maintained that there is no credible evidence to support the charges brought against Brunson.

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