Andrew Brunson is an American pastor who has been detained in Turkey for almost two years since October 7, 2016.
For months, the Trump administration has been disputing with Turkey over a “…currency crisis sparked by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States,” reports CBS News.
The dispute has centered around the detainment of Pastor Brunson, who is on trial for espionage and terror related charges. The charges were linked to the failed military coup in 2016, and have been described as “trumped-up charges.”
The U.S. responded to the charges by placing sanctions on two ministers and later placing doubling the steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey; it is these tariffs which are driving concern over Turkey’s economy.
On NBC’s Nightly News Monday, Lester Holt asserted that President Trump was the one straining the relationship with the NATO allies. “Tensions are reaching a boiling point between the U.S. and one of its NATO allies tonight,” said Holt, reported NewsBusters.
Opening the segment, Holt laid out the situation: “Turkey is accusing the U.S. of trying to tank its economy after President Trump ordered new sanctions.” And in what appeared to some form of huff about the cost of retrieving one of his fellow citizens being too high, he added, “as our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel explains, it can all be traced back to a fight over one American citizen.”
“Turkey's currency hit a record low of 7.23 per dollar late on Sunday after Erdogan, in a series of speeches over the week, showed no sign of backing down in the standoff against the United States,” reported CBS News on Monday. Earlier this week it was reported that Erdogan has accused the United States of stabbing them in the back.