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Brunson, an evangelical pastor, was arrested in December 2016 and jailed.

The Treasury Department will place sanctions on Turkey's minister of justice and minister of interior, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed at a press briefing.

On July 26, Trump announced in a tweet that if the Turkish government did not release Brunson, the USA would impose "large" sanctions on Turkey. Brunson, who was recently released to home detention, was charged with committing crimes, including spying for the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by both the United States and Turkey as well as the EU.

Turkey is also angry at the United States for its refusal to extradite Gulen, who lives in exile in rural Pennsylvania and vehemently denies that he masterminded the failed 2016 coup bid.

In this case, the Treasury Department showed greater creativity in the use of financial sanctions to target just two senior officials - one of whom said on Twitter he had no USA holdings - in order to send a clear message to a foreign ally.

US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had threatened Turkey with painful sanctions if the pastor was not freed.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said in a statement: "The president is not acting alone".

Imposing sanctions on senior government officials of an allied country is a major escalation and a reflection of just how dire relations between Washington and Ankara have grown in the two years since the coup attempt in Turkey.

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"We've seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong", she said.

Turkey is calling on the United States to reverse its decision to sanction two Turkish government ministers over a detained American pastor and is threatening to retaliate "without delay".

President Donald Trump warned last week that he might impose sanctions against Turkey, a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, for its treatment of Andrew Craig Brunson.

"The biggest takeaway of all of this ... is we're finally seeing frustrations with Turkey coalesce across the USA government", she said. Turkey's Foreign Ministry was expected to release a statement later Wednesday.

"President Trump concluded that these sanctions are the appropriate action", Pompeo said.

Indeed, the Turkish currency slid to a record low after the White House announced the sanctions.

The global order, included in the fiscal 2017 Defense Department funding authorization, expanded authority under the 2012 Magnitsky Act, named after a Russian lawyer and auditor who uncovered tax fraud and graft linked to the Kremlin, leading to his arrest and death in prison under mysterious circumstances.


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