ASIA/TURKEY - Evangelical pastor Brunson still in prison for espionage. Trump had asked for his extradition

Tuesday, 29 August 2017   geopolitics  

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Ankara (Agenzia Fides) - President Donald Trump's attempts to release and return Andrew Craig Brunson to the United States, the US Evangelical pastor who had already been arrested in Turkey in the autumn of 2016, accused of supporting Hizmet, the organization of Turkish Islamic preacher Fetullah Gulen indicated by Ankara as the mind behind the failed coup on July 15, 2016. In recent days, preacher Brunson, after Trump's intervention, was charged with crimes even worse than the ones he had been accused of in the past, and was imprisoned in a high security prison where some are accused of being among the top officials responsible for the failed coup in 2016. Turkish media highlights that the Evangelical pastor has links with the PKK - Kurdistan Workers' Party, a Kurdish outlawed organization in Turkey - and with CIA. Commenting the developments of the case, Turkish media mentions the visits that the Evangelical pastor apparently received from the US Ambassador in Turkey, as well as the request for his release and extradition by President Trump himself in the meeting last May at the White House with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Evangelical pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, former head of the Evangelical Church of the Resurrection in Izmir (Smyrne Diriliş Kilisesi), was summoned in October 2016 together with his wife, Lyn Norine, from the Immigration Office, that initially told them to leave the country justifying this measure with the vague accusation that he received funds from abroad to fund missionary initiatives and endanger the security of the country with their activities. Subsequently, the Turkish press reported that the decree of expulsion for the Evangelical pastor had been transformed into arrest after a secret witness accused him of belonging to the so-called FETO (Turkish acronym of "Fethullahnista terrorist organization"). (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2017)


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