US hits Turkey with sanctions

In the row over the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in custody in Turkey since 2016 and is currently under house arrest, the US has imposed sanctions against two Turkish ministers. Ankara accuses the pastor of supporting the Gülen movement which it claims was responsible to the attempted coup. The US insists that Brunson is innocent. Will the dispute escalate?

Open/close all quotes
Kurier (AT) /

Rambo policies lead to disaster

Trump and Erdoğan both take a black-and-white view of politics and are always looking for a duel, Kurier warns:

“Both egomaniacs can pin another star on their lapels with the words 'I'm a tough guy' - scoring points with core voters. However, from a global point of view this type of brutish confrontation that Trump has made increasingly acceptable is very dangerous, especially in the present case. Both states are militarily involved in Syria, but on opposite sides. A real duel on the Euphrates would be the worst possible scenario. In general, Rambo policies à la Trump or Erdoğan, which are all about 'an eye for an eye', lead to a blurring of all the previous standards and conventions - and straight to disaster.”

Daily Sabah (TR) /

US should show restraint

The US is not doing itself any favours by trying to use its most powerful Nato partner in the run-up to the mid-term elections, Daily Sabah complains:

“Tomorrow, the Americans are bound to need the good services of their Turkish allies as Turkey has the second largest army in NATO after the U.S. and no other country can produce such a fighting force. So trying to force Turkey to satisfy the whims of Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence so that they win far-right Christian votes for the Republicans in the Fall congressional elections is a great disservice to Turkish-American relations.”

Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

Stand up to Erdoğan's power politics

The sanctions are right, but only in principle, the Frankfurter Rundschau believes:

“It's the only language that the autocrat understands. ... But the sanctions come far too late and they give Erdoğan the chance to blame the US for Turkey's rampant inflation. For him, blackmail pays off. That's why he issued a decree granting himself the right to allow prisoners to be extradited. That's mafia politics, and it's unacceptable. Yet another German has just been arrested for political reasons. The EU must urgently come up with an answer and put an end to this state-run hostage taking.”