Andrew Brunson: Turkish court rules to release US pastor

The American pastor at the centre of a bitter diplomatic rift between Washington DC and Ankara is traveling back to the US after a Turkish court ordered his release following two years in detention.

While Turkey maintains Saudi Arabia sent a 15-man assassination team to silence Khashoggi, who has been critical of newly appointed crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies, it is seeking US help in investigating the case in order to avoid antagonising its already fragile political and trade relations with Riyadh.

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CBS News -
American pastor to meet with Trump following his release by Turkey

An American pastor flew out of Turkey on Friday after a Turkish court convicted him of terror links but freed him from house arrest.

While supporters in the United States celebrated Brunson's release, his case overshadowed the predicament of a Turkish-American scientist from NASA and several Turkish workers for the U.S. diplomatic mission who were arrested in Turkey.

Wall Street Jurnal -
Turkey Is Expected to Release American Pastor on Friday

The U.S. and Turkey are expected to begin mending a rupture in relations with the likely release on Friday of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson from detention and house arrest in Turkey, where he has faced terrorism charges, people familiar with the matter said.

Return of Andrew Brunson, held since 2016 on terrorism charges, to U.S. could improve bilateral relations, boost Republicans ahead of midterm elections

Fox News -
Renewed hope for release of jailed American pastor in Turkey

But extremely cautious – optimism that Pastor Andrew Brunson could be released from prison in Turkey and be headed home soon.

Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford once again called for the release of “unjustly” jailed U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson on Sunday, exactly two years after Turkey imprisoned the American in the months following the failed July 2016 coup attempt. “Today is a solemn reminder that it has been two full years that a NATO-ally is unjustly holding a US citizen, Dr. Andrew Brunson,” Lankford said in a statement.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte