Left: American Center for Law and Justice Right: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Trump insists he will 'pay nothing for the release' of US pastor in Turkey

Fri 17 Aug 2018
By Eno Adeogun

President Donald Trump has insisted he will not pay for the release of the US pastor detained in Turkey on terror charges, despite describing him as a "great patriot hostage".

Mr Trump used Twitter to further show his support for North Carolina missionary, Andrew Brunson, who was recently transferred from jail to home detention in Turkey for health reasons.

The president tweeted: "Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!"


A Turkish court rejected the release appeal made by Mr Brunson's lawyer on Wednesday, ruling that he should remain under house arrest.

Washington has demanded that the pastor be fully exonerated and allowed to return to his home country. The document filed by the US government on Wednesday to the Turkish government requested that the court "prevent unlawful political interventions by lifting judicial control provisions on the defendant".

Andrew and Norine Brunson/Facebook


Mr Brunson - who has been in detention for 22 months, faces 35 years in prison if found guilty of the terrorism charges linked to the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.

His case now lies at the heart of a diplomatic row between Turkey and the US that has seen the Turkish lira drop to record lows in recent weeks, having fallen some 42 per cent so far this year.

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