The lawyer of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey on terrorism-linked charges, is expected to apply to the Constitutional Court for the release of his client.
"We will appeal tomorrow to the Constitutional Court to lift the house arrest," lawyer İsmail Cem Halavurt told Reuters yesterday.
In September 2016, 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.
Halavurt said he did not expect the Constitutional Court to make a ruling before the Oct. 12 hearing, "but we want to have completed our appeal before then."
The Brunson incident caused tensions between Turkey and the U.S. as the latter tried to pressure the country and interfere in the judicial process in a bid 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.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal claimed that Brunson is expected to be released after his next hearing which will be held on Oct.12. Referring to authorities from both the Turkish and American sides, the article stated that the release of Brunson was a "possible outcome" as suggested by Turkish officials.
However, on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey will continue to "resist" the U.S. over the issue.
"We are determined to fight this twisted attitude that has attempted to impose sanctions on our country by using a pastor who has dark ties to terror groups as the pretext," President Erdoğan said at the opening of the second legislative year of the 27th term of Parliament.
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