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Turkey Expects US to Lift Sanctions Soon After Pastor Brunson's Release

© AP Photo / Emre TazegulAndrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey.
Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey. - Sputnik International
US pastor Andrew Brunson was released by a Turkish court in Izmir on October 12 and shortly after returned to the United States to be greeted by US President Donald Trump at the White House.

The arrest of US pastor Brunson has significantly aggravated US-Turkish relations. After his detention, the United States imposed sanctions against Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and doubled previously levied import tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

READ MORE: ‘Supernatural Wisdom': Trump Welcomes Freed Pastor Brunson to the White House

The sanctions prompted a significant downturn of the Turkish lira, which plunged more than 40 percent this year.

President Donald Trump welcomes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House in Washington - Sputnik International
Brunson's Release 'a Win for Trump, But Not a Big Win' – Turkish Analyst

Commenting on the pastor's liberation and punitive measures against Ankara, US President Donald Trump stated that no deal had been made with Turkey on lifting US sanctions in exchange for Brunson's release.

READ MORE: Trump: No Deal Made With Turkey on Lifting US Sanctions for Brunson's Release

The US pastor was arrested in 2016 over his alleged ties to the movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey holds responsible for orchestrating the failed military coup earlier that year. Prior to the release, the pastor was freed from prison in late July 2018 and moved to house arrest. On October 12, a court in Izmir sentenced Brunson to more than three years in prison but released him from house arrest, saying he would not have to serve any more jail time.

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