Turkey, US lift sanctions against respective ministers

Turkey and the United States on Friday lifted sanctions against each others' ministers
Friday, 02 November 2018 17:10

The United States said on Friday it lifted sanctions imposed on two top officials in Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan's cabinet after Turkey freed an American pastor from detention three weeks ago.

Turkey promptly matched the move on Friday by lifting sanctions on two corresponding U.S. officials - U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The United States had imposed sanctions on Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in August over the case of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Both men were accused of human rights violations and sanctioned in August in response to the detention of Brunson.

Brunson was detained three years ago over his alleged ties to Gülen network, accused by Turkey of plotting the 2016 failed military coup. The pastor was released from prison in July 2018, only to be moved to house arrest. He was allowed to walk free in October after a court in Izmir ruled he did not have to serve any more jail time. He soon returned to the United States.