New developments crop up every day regarding the issue of pastor Andrew Brunson, an issue that has led to a crisis between Turkey and the U.S. First of all, we have to give Turkey credit for showing sensitivity towards the case. As a result of this sensitivity, pastor Brunson was released from prison and put under house arrest, even though the Turkish judiciary obtained a great deal of serious evidence against him within the investigation.
I would like to focus on this point, since the Brunson case has been embraced by groups attempting to disrupt Turkey-U.S. relations, which have existed for half a century. The claims, reflected in public opinion, naturally led the judiciary to take measures for the defendant's safety. An investigation launched by İzmir Public Prosecutor's Office upon a notice, verified the concerns of the public and the judiciary.
According to the information leaked to the press, a man named "Sercan," who is sought for more than 100 offenses, was assigned to assassinate Brunson while he was in prison. It is alleged that this person was paid 3 million dollars and planned to commit the murder while Brunson was on his way to his trials, since he was guarded with high security measures in prison.
Speaking to the daily Yeni Asır, Chief Prosecutor Ömer Faruk Aydıner said that three people were detained in Istanbul and two were detained in Ankara pertaining to the case, adding that they will be sent to İzmir for inquiry. Fortunately, the Turkish judiciary and security forces went into overdrive this time. Brunson is currently living under extraordinary security measures in the house he stays in İzmir. To put it simply, Turkey is guarding the Pastor's security and his life.
But who are the people looking to assassinate Brunson and stir up chaos?
The journalist Sibel Edmonds, the founder of the U.S.-based National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), argues that a deep structure within the CIA intervenes whenever there is progress in the Brunson case, although the Turkish state tries to protect his security and life. She goes on to suggest that this deep structure planned to fatally poison Brunson while he was in jail and put the blame on Turkey.
Edmonds' claims, which complement the developments within the official trial process, are of critical significance. It is obvious that Brunson is not an ordinary pastor since his name always comes to the fore with scandals that exceed his position.
Let me remind you about an incident that took place seven years ago. On April 11, 2011, Brunson was injured in an armed attack by a person named Mehmet Ali Eren while he was chatting with his friend at the churchyard. During the incident, the attacker shouted: "You traitors! We will bomb the church in Manisa. And Al Qaeda will claim responsibility for this." After that, the same attacker became a follower of the very church led by Brunson. It was even reported that this person was running errands for Brunson's wife Norine Brunson.
The Trump administration instrumentalizes the case according to its foreign policy interests and they must abandon the show of threats which complicate the problem, instead of resolving it.
The administration should pay heed to the claims, since their ramifications would directly affect the U.S. interests in the region. In such a period, the Trump administration is likely to pay the highest cost if Turkey is pushed towards the Eastern bloc, where the rivals of the U.S. will undoubtedly win.