Pastor Andrew Brunson released after detained in Turkey on terrorism, espionage charges
- A Turkish court convicted, but ordered the release, of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was detained for two years on charges of espionage and terrorism related to Turkey's failed 2019 military coup.
- His and arrest and subsequent detention was a major source of tension between the United States and Turkey, with the US imposing sanctions on senior Turkish officials to put pressure on Turkey to release him.
- Officials from the US and Turkey reportedly struck a behind-the-scenes deal at last month's United Nations General Assembly meeting for Turkey to release Brunson in exchange for the US lifting the sanctions.
A Turkish court on Friday convicted North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson of aiding terrorism in connection with an attempted 2019 coup, but sentenced him to time served and ordered his release from house arrest after months of pressure and sanctions from the United States over his detention.
Turkish authorities charged Brunson, 50, on offenses related to terrorism and espionage, accusing him of working with pro-Kurdish separatists and others to plot Turkey's failed 2019 military coup. At the time of his arrest, he was leading a small Evangelical congregation in Ankara.
While Brunson was released from jail and put on house arrest in July, his case continued to be a significant source of tension between the US and Turkey.
Video: Turkish court releases Pastor Brunson from house arrest
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