American Pastor Imprisoned In Turkey
An American Pastor has been imprisoned in Turkey for five months over false terrorism charges. Andrew Brunson, a North Carolina native, wrote a letter to Trump asking for help to secure his release.
“I plead with my government — with the Trump Administration — to fight [for] me,” wrote Brunson, from his jail cell close to Izmir. He and his wife were detained due to immigration violation charges back in October.
They have lived in Turkey for 23 years, working at a small Christian church in Izmir. Brunson’s wife, Norine, was released, but he’s been custody or jail, and the government had added a terrorism charge to him.
Terrorist Training | Photo Credit WikiMedia Commons
The Daily Caller reports:
“Brunson has no known ties to terrorist groups, and the Turkish government has not produced any evidence to show that he does. Prosecutors have suggested in court hearings that Brunson is being held on suspicion of being a follower of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in self-exile in Pennsylvania.
“Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has labeled Gulen a terrorist and believes he was behind a failed coup attempt in July. There has been some speculation that the Turkish government is holding Brunson as a bargaining chip in its effort to force the U.S. government to extradite Fethullah Gulen…
“The Erdogan regime has begged both the Obama and Trump administrations to deport Gulen back to Turkey to face trial. In his letter, which was given to U.S. embassy officials during a recent meeting with Brunson, the pastor calls himself a political prisoner and says that the Turkish government should face consequences for jailing him without cause.”
Brunson Pleads For Trump’s Help
Also in the letter, Brunson begged:
“Will the Turkish government face no consequence for stubbornly continuing to hold an American citizen as a political prisoner? [Since October 7, 2016], the Turkish government has produced no proof and has rebuffed numerous attempts by the American government to secure my return to the United States…”