REVENGE: Turkey's Erdoğan told 'SEIZE Trump Towers Istanbul' in retaliation to sanctions
DEMANDS have been made for Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to “seize Trump Towers Istanbul” in response to US sanctions on officials from the country, as relations between the two nations continue to spiral downwards.
The Turkish Good Party has implored President Erdoğan to compel the forfeiture of assets owned by President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet that exist within Turkey’s borders.
The suggestion comes after US sanctions targeted two top officials in the Turkish administration.
The sanctions, which have been branded by Turkey as an “aggressive attitude that serves no purpose”, were imposed in response to the detention of an American pastor who is being tried by Ankrar on espionage and terror-related charges.
Turkey's foreign ministry said in a written statement on Thursday: “The decision, which disrespectfully intervenes in our judicial system, will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries.”
He also vowed Turkey would respond in equal measure.
One such response came from Good Party spokesman and general secretary Ayten Çıray who said: “The Justice and Development Party [AKP] government should seize Trump Towers.”
The comments were released as part of a statement published by Hürriyet Daily News on 2 August.
Turkey's Trump Towers complex resides in Istanbul's vibrant Mecidiyekoy area and features a 400,000-square-foot mall in addition to two 40-story towers.
One of the buildings is home to residential apartments; the other is an office building.
Mr Çıray's somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion follows formal sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department on Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu to freeze their assets within US jurisdiction.
The White House blocked assets and properties belonging to Mr Gul and Mr Soylu after accusing them of playing leading roles in the arrest and detention of Andrew Brunson.
State Department calls on Turkey to resolve jailed US pastor case
Mr Erdoğan’s government has accused the pastor of being involved in the failed 2016 coup d'état attempt.
For Mr Çıray, the response to boycott the Trump Towers real estate in Turkey is a like-for-like measure.
And the Good Party’s idea may be realised, with Mr Erdoğan claiming in a June speech that Trump’s name should be stripped from the Istanbul towers as a reaction to the then-candidates Islamophobia.
According to the New York Times, neither Trump himself nor The Trump organisation are the rightful owners of Trump Towers in Istanbul.
Instead, the real estate assets are owned by Turkish conglomerate Doğan Holding - the company paid Tump between $1million (£768,465) for the rights to put his name on the side of the building complex.