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Turkey says U.S. has turned its back on the country over battle for pastor's release

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan gives speech. Photo: Stringer/Getty Images

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced to supporters on Saturday "If the U.S. is turning its back on us...choosing a pastor instead, sorry...we continue our path with decisive steps... This treatment by America of its strategic partner has annoyed us, it has upset us," Reuters reports.

The big picture: Erdoğan's remarks come in response to recent sanctions the U.S. has slapped on Turkey for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson who remains on house arrest on terrorism charges. The lira dropped to an all-time low Friday as geopolitical tensions between NATO allies, Turkey and the United States continued to escalate.