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



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