Turkey: We Differ From Iran, Russia, US on Syria and Middle East

Turkey: We Differ From Iran, Russia, US on Syria and Middle East

Andrew Brunson, a United States pastor held for more than a year in Turkey, goes on trial on Monday on charges of aiding terror groups in a case that has raised tensions between Washington and Ankara.

Aliaga: An American pastor is going on trial in Turkey accused of ties to terror groups and spying, in a case that has strained ties between Turkey and the United States.

The lawyer for a US pastor who goes on trial in Turkey on Monday over alleged links to a group accused of orchestrating a failed military coup said the preacher had been arrested for his Christian faith.

If convicted, he faces up to 35 years behind bars.

Monday's court session will be attended by North Carolina senator Thom Tillis and US envoy for religious freedom Sam Brownback. Yours is not - he is living in Pennsylvania.

Izmir's prosecutor's office said that sufficient evidence was obtained to charge Brunson with aiding armed terrorist organizations and obtaining confidential government information for political and military espionage.


Brunson, 60, spent more than two decades running a small church in Turkey before he was detained in October 2016 and accused of supporting Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric based in the US.

Relations between Turkey and the USA were already strained over American support for Kurdish militias in Syria, which have been targeted by Turkish forces.

But Bozdag insisted Turkey's longstanding opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had not changed. "There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out", Bozdag told reporters.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative Christian group in the USA, has called Brunson a "hostage of the Turkish government".

Furnari said she isn't sure why her father was arrested.

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