The US President Donald Trump has rejected to make concessions to Turkey’s demands regarding the fate of the US pastor Andrew Brunson. His detention in Turkey, within the massive state purge after a coup in the summer of 2016, has prompted the recent escalation of tensions between Washington and Ankara.
In an interview Donald Trump said he believed that had a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he helped persuade Israel to release a Turkish citizen. Trump pointed out that he had hoped that Brunson would be released afterwards.
“I think that what Turkey is doing is very sad. I think they make a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions”, said Donald Trump.
The Ankara-Washington conflict has escalated since the Trump administration doubled the Turkish import duties on steel and aluminum. Ankara responded with increased tariffs on a number of American goods. The crisis heavily affected the Turkish lira, which since the beginning of the year has lost almost 40% of its price.
Asking whether he is not afraid of possible damage to other economies from the turmoil in Turkey, Trump said he was “not worried at all”, indicating that his actions were “the right thing”.
According to a White House, Turkey has sought the US aid for the release of a Turkish citizen arrested in Israel, in exchange for Ankara to release Brunson and other detained Americans. According to Trump, he has done his part of the deal, expecting the same from Erdogan. Israeli authorities, who confirmed that Trump had requested the release of Ebru Oskan, who was deported to Turkey on July 15th.
“So far I have had a very good relationship, as you know, with the president (Erdogan). I understood him wonderfully, but it can not be a one-way street”, said Trump.
In his interview, the US president touched on another topical issue that has a strong impact on US markets and economy, namely bilateral relations with China. He said he did not expect to make significant progress in the forthcoming new round of trade talks between the two countries and said there was no “timeframe” to end the conflict.
“I am like them, I have a broad horizon”, said Donald Trump.
He also expressed doubts that he will hold a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during the November-Asia Pacific summit in Papua New Guinea.