Turkey rejects new appeal to free detained US pastor

A Turkish court on Wednesday rejected a new appeal to free US pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention has sparked a severe crisis in relations between Turkey and the United States, local media reported.

The court in the western city of Izmir ruled that Brunson, who faces 35 years in jail over terror and espionage charges, will remain under house
arrest, the state television TRT reported.

Brunson’s jail term had been converted to house detention for health reasons.

His detention has soured relations with Washington, with US President Donald Trump doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Turkey in punitive actions against Ankara’s refusal to release Brunson.

The crisis has sent the Turkish currency into free fall since Friday.

“The president has a great deal of frustration (about) the pastor not being released,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

The statement came after US embassy charge d’affaires Jeffrey Hovenier visited Brunson in Izmir.

Brunson’s lawyer Cem Halavurt told AFP that a higher court would also discuss his appeal for Brunson’s release.

Turkey’s ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic on Monday held private talks with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in a meeting to discuss the pastor’s status.

 

AFP

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