The White House and Turkish officials have reached a deal for the release of an American pastor who has been detained in Turkey for two years, according to a report from NBC News.
Two senior administration officials and a third person who was briefed on the matter told NBC that Turkey will release North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson after some of his charges are dropped at his next court hearing, which is set for Friday.
NBC reported that the details of the agreement are not yet clear, but it includes a commitment from the U.S. to ease economic pressure on Turkey.
One senior official told NBC that the administration is not positive Brunson will be released, given that Turkey had previously refused to release him after coming close to a deal with the White House.
“We continue to believe Pastor Brunson is innocent, and the hearing on Friday is another opportunity for the Turkish judicial system to free an American citizen,” a third senior administration official said. – READ MORE
Turkish pro-government lawyers have filed charges against U.S. military officers for allegedly having ties to terrorist organizations.
According to Stars and Stripes, the court papers accuse the officers of having connections to FETO, a group deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, and call for the arrest of several officers associated with Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, including Col. John C. Walker, Col. Michael H. Manion, Col. David Eaglen, Col. David Trucksa, Lt. Col. Timothy J. Cook, Lt. Col. Mack R. Coker, and Sgts. Thomas S. Cooper and Vegas M. Clark.
The lawyers are seeking to stop all flights from departing from the base and requesting access to execute a search warrant.
The organization behind the filing, the Association for Social Justice and Aid, is reportedly a non-governmental organization of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. – READ MORE