Erdogan says U.S. turned its back on Turkey, upsetting Ankara

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a meeting of his ruling AK Party in Ankara, Turkey August 4, 2018. Murat Kula/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The United States has turned its back on its NATO ally Turkey over a Christian American pastor and such treatment has annoyed and upset Ankara, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

“If the U.S. is turning its back on us...choosing a pastor instead, sorry...we continue our path with decisive steps,” Erdogan told a crowd of supporters in Black Sea coastal city of Rize. “This treatment by America of its strategic partner has annoyed us, it has upset us.”

The two governments have been at odds over a wide range of topics - from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey’s ambition to buy Russian defense systems and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by David Stamp