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EXCLUSIVE-Turkey's Erdogan says court will decide fate of detained U.S. pastor

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EXCLUSIVE-Turkey's Erdogan says court will decide fate of detained U.S. pastor

EXCLUSIVE-Turkey's Erdogan says court will decide fate of detained U.S. pastor

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said a Turkish court, not politicians, will decide the fate of an American pastor whose detention on terrorism charges has roiled relations between Ankara and Washington.

Emily Wither reports.

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EXCLUSIVE-Turkey's Erdogan says court will decide fate of detained U.S. pastor

When it comes to the fate of the detained U.S. pastor in Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan says his fate is up to the courts, not lawmakers.

The fall out over Andrew Brunson has sunk relations between Turkey and the US to an all-time low.

In a Reuters exclusive, Erdogan spoke to us on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly.

(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN SAYING: "On October 12 there will be another hearing and we don't know what the court will decide and politicians will not have a say on the verdict." U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying he was hopeful Turkey would release the evangelical preacher this month.

In July he was moved to house arrest after 21 months in detention.

The case resulted in a tit for tat trade war.

The Turkish lira has lost nearly 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year.

Erdogan says the diplomatic dispute has nothing to do with it.

(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN SAYING: "The current economic problems are not as problematic and are being exaggerated.

Turkey will overcome these challenges with its own resources very soon." Erdogan also telling Reuters that Turkey will continue to buy Iranian natural gas despite U.S. sanctions.

Next month Brunson returns to court.

The fate of one man could make or break Turkish-U.S. relations.




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