Brunson sanctions and ongoing negotiatio­ns


…Let me remind you of what is going on with a little behind-the-scene informatio­n. In recent months, an agreement was reached between Turkey and the United States through various channels for the release of Brunson. Hakan Atilla would be sent to Turkey to ‘serve the remaining part of his sentence’ in return for Brunson. There is an existng prisoner exchange agreement between Turkey and the United States that would allow this…But according to Bloomberg, at the last minute a new issue came to the fore. There was a possibilit­y of a second indictment against Halkbank. Ankara also asked for a guarantee on this issue in return for Brunson. Trump’s team said that they could not accommodat­e. Negotiatio­ns fell off the rails. Then came the U.S. sanctions…This sanction decree is a symbolic step: The aim is to give Turkey the message that the U.S. is serious…The climax of the Brunson drama will probably be his release in return for Hakan Atilla where he will complete the remaining part of his 32-month sentence in the Zarrab case. Both parties can present this exchange to their constituen­cies as a great ‘victory’. But when will this happen? Does Ankara have time until October? How much will the economy be damaged until then? Will Turkey retaliate against the sanctions? Let’s wait and see…

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