Briefing on US sanctions against Turkey


26 July 2018

Domestic politics risks pushing Turkey-US relations into a period of perpetual crisis

  • The dispute between the US and Turkey over detained nationals has been increasingly driven by the local political priorities of both governments
  • The move to impose sanctions may have short-term benefits for the Trump administration but is also likely to bolster President Erdogan’s political position at home
  • Neither side has an interest in permanently ending the crisis, but the US-Turkey relationship remains too mutually important to fail

Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu have been placed under US treasury sanctions as “the leaders of entities that are engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse”. They are no-longer allowed to travel to the US or engage in transactions with US organisations.

The move comes after the failure of negotiations that would have seen American pastor Andrew Brunson released from Turkish custody in return for Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a senior executive of state-owned Halkbank convicted in the US for breaking sanctions on Iran in May…

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