Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, has cautioned towards deciphering the release of Andrew Brunson, a US evangelical pastor, as signalling a marked development in US-Turkish family members after a string of new disputes.
Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times in London, Mr Cavusoglu said “the atmosphere is a little bit better now” between Washington and Ankara after Mr Brunson was once allowed to go back to the US ultimate week after 2 years’ detention in Turkey.
However, he emphasized that Mr Brunson’s release was once “not a signal from us [in Turkey] . . . The fate of one person alone cannot frame relations between two allies”.
The wary tone of the Turkish foreign minister’s remarks on Monday contrasted with an upbeat tweet ultimate week from Donald Trump, who prompt Mr Brunson’s release “will lead to good, perhaps great relations between the United States and Turkey”.
Mr Brunson was once arrested on terrorism and espionage fees in Turkey in 2016 after a failed coup strive towards Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. A Turkish pass judgement on set the pastor loose after sustained drive from the Trump management, including business sanctions that undermined foreign investors’ confidence within the Turkish economic system.
Washington’s measures towards Turkey, a Nato best friend, incorporated the doubling of metal and aluminium price lists and sanctions towards 2 senior Turkish govt ministers.
Mr Cavusoglu mentioned vital stumbling blocks persisted to face in the way in which of hotter US-Turkish family members, above all Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based non secular chief of a bunch that Mr Erdogan’s govt accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup.
“He is still living in the US. He is a putschist. He is responsible for the attempted coup in Turkey, and he’s not been extradited,” Mr Cavusoglu mentioned. Mr Gulen denies any involvement.
The foreign minister mentioned every other impediment was once US reinforce for Kurdish armed forces in Syria which are connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ celebration (PKK), an armed rebel motion in south-eastern Turkey which has fought an on-off fight towards the Turkish state since 1984.
“This is a very sensitive issue. It is a security issue for us in Turkey,” Mr Cavusoglu mentioned.
From Washington’s perspective, a 3rd irritant is Turkey’s resolution to shop for and deploy a Russian S-400 air – Defence device, which Nato officers say may acquire delicate information on the F-35, the US’s new flagship stealth fighter jet. Earlier this year, congress started arrangements to halt the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey in a bid to drive Ankara to backtrack.
But Mr Cavusoglu mentioned Turkey, a long way from rescinding its resolution, would deploy the air – Defence device in the second one or 3rd quarter of 2019. “It’s done,” he mentioned.
Mr Cavusoglu mentioned Turkey had felt pressured to shop for the Russian device as a result of foot-dragging by way of Nato allies. “If any one of our allies were ready to sell such a system to Turkey, we could start the process today,” he mentioned.
Mr Cavusoglu mentioned EU governments had no reason why to worry that Turkey would pull out of a 2016 settlement to stem the drift of migrants and warfare refugees throughout Turkish territory into mainland Europe. “Turkey always delivers what it promises,” he mentioned.
Turning to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, who was once ultimate observed getting into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul 2 weeks in the past, Mr Cavusoglu mentioned he was once now not ready to state publicly that the dissident were killed by way of Saudi brokers.
“I cannot say that until we see the concrete evidence. Suspicion is something else, but this is a very serious matter, so we can only say something on the basis of the investigation.”