American Pastor Imprisoned in Turkey Faces New Charges

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

(Worthy News) - Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who has been imprisoned in Turkey for nearly a year on dubious terrorism charges, is now facing new charges: “gathering state secrets for espionage, attempting to overthrow the Turkish parliament and government, and to change the constitutional order.”

Brunson and his family had lived in the Turkish city of Izmir for 23 years, where he was the pastor of a small Presbyterian church. He was arrested, initially without charges, amid the crackdown on Turkey’s political opposition following last summer’s failed coup attempt. He was eventually charged with membership in what the Turkish government calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization—the followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government blames for the coup. (Gulen and his followers deny playing a role. The true story is uncertain and extremely complicated.) Brunson was also accused of giving a sermon to Kurds with “a special purpose” at his church, implying that he is a Kurdish nationalist sympathizer as well as a Gulenist. There’s not a lot of overlap between those groups, other than the fact that Erdogan’s government is hostile to both.

There’s little to no evidence that the Christian minister is a member of an Islamic social movement, much less proof that he plotted to overthrow the Turkish government. [ Source (Read More...) ]