American pastor on trial for alleged terror ties in Turkey


I've been praying for Turkey for 25 years.

A Christian pastor from North Carolina living in Turkey for 23 years, Brunson has been indicted on charges of helping the group that Turkey holds responsible for the failed 2016 coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.

"I don't accept any of the allegations or accusations", the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Brunson as telling the court in the town of Aliaga, some 60 kilometres (38 miles) north of the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.

Washington has called for Brunson's release while Erdogan suggested previous year his fate could be linked to that of USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition Ankara has repeatedly sought to face charges over the coup attempt. "I had no relations with anyone engaged in such activity", Brunson said.

Monday's court session is going to be appreciated by NY senator Thom Tillis and also USA envoy for religious freedom Sam Brownback. "If this serves the interests of our policy on Syria, we will take joint actions both with the United States, and with Russian Federation and Iran", Bozdag told the NTV broadcaster, commenting on Macron's statement. Gulen has denied any hyperlink into this coup effort in which a lot more than 240 persons were murdered.

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"The Administration is deeply concerned about this case", Brownback told reporters outside the courthouse.

Andrew Brunson goes on trial on charges of aiding terror groups in a case that has raised tensions between Washington and Ankara.

Brunson, 60, spent more than two decades running a small church in Turkey before he was detained in October 2016 and accused of supporting Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric based in the US.

Halavurt said on Sunday he believed Brunson would ultimately be acquitted and there was no reason for his continued detention during trial.

Furnari said she isn't sure why her father was arrested. &ldquoWe desire Brunson to become freed instantly.