Trump urges Turkey to release American pastor charged for participating in 2016 military coup attempt
YEREVAN, APRIL 18, ARMENPRESS. US President Donald Trump urged the Turkish authorities to release Pastor Andrew Brunson who is on trial in Turkey on charges of taking part in the 2016 military coup attempt, TASS reports.
“Pastor Andrew Brunson, a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States, is on trial and being persecuted in Turkey for no reason. They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is. Hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his beautiful family where he belongs!”, Trump tweeted.
Reuters reports Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of helping the group that Ankara holds responsible for the failed 2016 coup against President Tayyip Erdogan. He faces up to 35 years in prison.
Washington has called for Brunson’s release while Erdogan suggested last year his fate could be linked to that of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition Ankara has repeatedly sought to face charges over the coup attempt.
English –translator/editor: Aneta Harutyunyan