Turkey calls US threats over pastor unacceptable

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Turkey says it’s unacceptable for the United States to threaten sanctions over a detained American pastor.

In a statement released Thursday, the spokesman for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) says the detention of pastor Andrew Brunson “falls within the jurisdiction of (Turkey’s) independent judiciary.”

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Ibrahim Kalin also warns the United States to “reconsider its approach and adopt a constructive position before inflicting further damage to its own interests and its alliance with Turkey.”

Earlier Thursday, President Donald Trump said the United States will impose sanctions on NATO ally Turkey, adding that Brunson “is suffering greatly” and called for his immediate release.

Brunson is an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina. He was detained after a failed coup in Turkey in 2016.