Global News

Turkey Won't Refuse to Cooperate With Russia, Iran on Syria - Deputy PM

Turkey Won't Refuse to Cooperate With Russia, Iran on Syria - Deputy PM

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

Andrew Brunson, of Black Mountain, N.C., has spent 23 years living in Turkey with his wife, daughter and two sons.

"There's signs which exhibits Brunson was detained due for his own beliefs", Halavurt advised Reuters on the eve of this trial, saying Brunson's non secular role had been "classified as aiding terror organizations".

Brunson was arrested in the aftermath of a 2016 coup attempt for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, as well as a network led by USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by Turkey for the coup attempt.

Turkey initially accused the pastor of being a member of both Mr Gulen's network and the PKK, but apparently adjusted the charges before the trial, accusing him of working on the groups' behalf.

Prosecutors say Mr Brunson worked with a group led by Mr Gulen, who is living in exile in Pennsylvania in the United States, as well as with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Ismail Cem Halavurt
ReutersIsmail Cem Halavurt lawyer of the jailed pastor Andrew Brunson talks during an interview with Reuters in Izmir Turkey April 15

Prosecutors are seeking 15 years in prison against the pastor for alleged crimes committed in the name of Gulen's group and the PKK, and a further 20 years for allegedly obtaining state secrets for political and military spying purposes using his religious work as cover.

"The United States cares deeply about our relationship with Turkey", Brownback said, according to the Reuters news agency.

"Give him (Gulen) to us, and we will try (Brunson) and return him", Erdogan said previous year. Gulen has denied any link to the coup attempt in which more than 240 people were killed.

Halavurt claimed he believed Brunson would ultimately be acquitted, and there was no reason behind his continuing detention during trial.

Furnari said she isn't sure why her father was arrested. "We want Brunson to be freed immediately". He was arrested in October 2016 while running the Resurrection Church in the western city of Izmir.

Bartolo Colon, 44, takes ideal game into 8th inning vs. Astros
BC-BBA-Rangers-Colon-Perfect Game Alert, 69Colon ideal through 6 innings for Rangers vs AstrosAP Photo TXMW104Eds: APNewsNow. In the 10th, Chirinos hit a two-run double off Hector Rondon (1-1) that short-hopped the wall in straightaway center field.


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