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Turkish court rejects US pastor’s appeal for release: Haberturk

ANKARA: A Turkish court has rejected an appeal to release American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest, broadcaster Haberturk said on Friday.

Brunson, an Evangelical pastor residing in the coastal province of Izmir, is standing trial in Turkey over terrorism charges. His case now lies at the heart of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the United States that has prompted a crash of Turkey’s lira currency.

The lira, which has lost some 40 percent of its value this year, weakened beyond 6.21 against the US dollar after the news, from 6.04 beforehand.

Read More: US threatens Turkey with more sanctions

Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday threatened that the United States would levy more sanctions on the troubled Turkish economy if Ankara does not release an American pastor.

“We have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members,” Mnuchin told President Donald Trump in a cabinet meeting attended by the press.

“We have more that we are planning to do if they don’t release him quickly,” Mnuchin said.

Trump prefaced Mnuchin’s remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good friend. Referring to imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson, Trump said “they have a great Christian pastor there, he’s a very innocent man.”

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