Pastor Andrew Brunson, who caused tension between Turkey and the U.S. following his detention in the former on terrorism-linked charges, may be released during his next appearance in court on Oct.12, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Sunday.
Referring to authorities from both Turkish and American sides, the article of the WSJ stated that the release of Brunson is a "possible outcome," as Turkish officials suggest.
"Turkish authorities are sending signals that an American pastor facing terrorism charges could be released next month, raising fresh hopes in the U.S. that the polarizing dispute will soon be resolved," WSJ wrote. However, the condition of Turkish authorities for Brunson to be released, the paper reported, is an end to the pressure of U.S. on the matter. As a result of this condition, the article states that U.S. "decided to ease off its pressure campaign." The article also claimed that in July, the U.S. authorities were so convinced that they had agreed with Turkey on the release of the Pastor that they had a plane waiting to take Brunson to Germany immediately on his release. In September 2016, Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor for the last 20 years at the Resurrection Church in the western city of İzmir, was arrested in Turkey for alleged links to the PKK and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), who orchestrated an attempted coup on July 15, 2016. The incident caused tension between Turkey and the U.S. as the latter aimed to pressure the country and interfere into the judicial process to release Brunson. Evangelical Christians have long lobbied for Washington to exert pressure on Ankara to secure Brunson's release and Trump's attitude over the case shows the risks he is willing to take in order to avoid displeasing American evangelicals as he went as far as to impose sanctions on Turkey.