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US announces sanctions on Turkey over detention of pastor

The United States announced sanctions on Turkey's ministers of justice and interior over the detention of an American pastor Andrew Bunson.

Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, who the US government state played “leading roles” in the arrest of Mr Bunson, have been hit by US Treasury sanctions.

"We believe he's a victim of unfair and unjust detention," said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders of Mr Bunson.

Turkey accuses the pastor of having links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gulenist movement and faces up to 35 years imprisonment. He has spent almost 2 years in a Turkish jail.

Turkey responded to the US move by calling “on the US administration to row back from this wrong decision”. 

"Without delay, there will be a response to this aggressive attitude that will not serve any purpose," said the Turkish foreign ministry.

See more from Al Jazeera here and the BBC here.