Trump stops F-35 jets delivery to Turkey

Turkish and US sources said Tuesday that Trump’s decision to delay the delivery of the jets came after he signed a policy bill on Sunday demanding that the Pentagon issues its report within 90 days on the relations between Ankara and Washington.

The report will provide an assessment to the White House on Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.

Tensions between Turkey and the US have escalated following Washington’s decision last month to impose sanctions on two Turkish ministers for their role in the imprisonment of US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. The pastor, who is now under house arrest, faces charges of involvement in a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016. Erdogan and other Turkish authorities have refused Trump’s calls for Brunson’s release, saying a decision on the issue is only up to the courts.

Trump also announced on Friday that his administration was doubling the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey, a move that further pushed the Turkish lira to fresh lows.

Erdogan said Tuesday that his country would retaliate punitive US sanctions by imposing a ban on the import of US electronic products, including the flagship iPhone. The announcement helped lira regain some of its lost value.

Turkey and the US have also been at odds over other issues, including the war in Syria. Washington is also angry that Turkey, a NATO member, is expanding its military cooperation with Russia.


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