Turkey will resist US sanctions over pastor:Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan the Turkish president said Germany had “excluded” Mesut Özil because of his roots

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the USA of using a pastor with "dark links" to terrorists groups to justify imposing sanctions on Turkey.

The dispute has centred on the nearly two-year detention of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related and espionage charges, and caused the Turkish lira to take a beating.

Brunson's detention and subsequent house arrest has incensed US President Donald Trump, who doubled tariffs on aluminium and steel imported from Turkey after talks to instigate the pastor's release broke down.

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Trump in August said he thought he had a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gain Brunson's release after he asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to free a Turkish citizen held for smuggling funds to Hamas.

Speaking at the opening of the parliament in Ankara, Erdogan said that Turkey would act against the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated by Turkey, the United States and European Union as a terrorist organization. Last month the main prosecutor in his trial was replaced, a move which his lawyer cautiously welcomed, saying it might be a sign of changing political will.

He also repeated Turkey's accusation that Washington is protecting Gulen, who has been based in the United States for two decades, and said the conviction in a NY court of an executive of state-owned Halkbank for violating USA sanctions on Iran was "an example of unique unlawfulness".

And during his press conference with Mrs Merkel on Thursday, Mr Erdogan announced that the two countries had reached "a consensus to boost the mechanisms of co-operation".

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"Countries who think they can act despite Turkey and even against Turkey are gravely mistaken", Erdogan told lawmakers of his Justice and Development (AK) Party at the parliament.

The lira improved to 5.95 against the dollar after his speech - its strongest valuation in more than six weeks.

"But, we will never allow anyone to violate our rights, laws, and interests [in our region]", Erdogan said, Anadolu Agency reported.

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