Yeni Safak: Turkish court rules to keep US pastor in jail on terror charges18 July 2018 | 18:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of helping Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), as well as supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The third hearing was held on Wednesday, and was attended by Brunson’s wife Norine Brunson, U.S. Ambassador to the United States Philip Kosnett, members of the American Commission on Religious Freedom and many foreign press members.
The next hearing for the trial is scheduled for October 12.
Witnesses tie Brunson to terror group
Levent Alkan testified saying that he knew Brunson for eight to 10 years, and that the pastor was closely connected to terror group sympathizers. Alkan added that Brunson helped them despite being warned against doing so.
Alkan also said that Brunson had ordered other churches to not allow him to enter and made him appear to be an informant. He stated that the pastor of the Light Church urged him to change his statement and repent.
“One day in church, Brunson said there was a war between Turks and Kurds. We do not agree. Why does he think such a thing?” asked Alkan, noting that he left the church with his own will because the separatist stance.
Brunson as arrested in Izmir on Dec. 9, 2016. He is accused of carrying out espionage and organizational activities across Turkey under the guise of missionary operations, being linked to FETÖ and PKK members, and interfering into Turkey’s internal affairs.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
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