The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the withdrawal of sanctions against Süleyman Soylu, Head of Turkish Interior Ministry and Abdulhamit Gül, Head of the Turkish Ministry of Justice. Ankara took a similar step by canceling restrictions against two members of the U.S. Government, Turkish Anadolu agency reports.
‘Sanction against the U.S. Attorney General and the United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen are lifted in response to the decision of the U.S. Department of the Treasury,’ Hami Aksoy, Spokesperson of Turkish MFA claimed.
He recalled that Ankara imposed sanctions on the members of the US Government, as a 'reflecting step' on the decision of the U.S. Department of the Treasury on sanctions made on August 1, 2018.
‘The ban on the entry of Jefferson Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen to Turkey, the blocking of probable accounts of US ministers in our country and the ban on trading with Turkish citizens have been lifted,’ the Representative of the Turkish MFA claimed.
It is reported that the strained relations of the countries were due to the case of American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson accused for connections with terrorists in Turkey.
Brunson was detained on December 9, 2016 for espionage and facilitating the terrorists inspired by Fethullah Gülen and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). On October 12, the court of Izmir in Turkey sentenced the American pastor to three years and 45 days of imprisonment.
Considering the term the U.S. citizen has already spent in detention and under house arrest, Brunson was released from the courtroom, after which he returned to Washington. Head of the White House Donad Trump expressed his gratitude to Turkey for the support in the release of Brunson.