After disappointing news last week in the ongoing imprisonment of American Pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, news came out today that he has been released from prison into house arrest related to health problems. This is great news and an answer to prayer.
Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which Ankara blames for the failed coup in 2016.
The Second High Penal Court in the western province of İzmir had rejected Brunson’s plea for release on July 18, deciding to continue listening to the testimonies of witnesses in the next hearing scheduled for Oct. 12.
Following an objection from Brunson’s attorney İsmail Cem Halavurt, however, the same court ruled on July 25 to move Brunson from prison to house arrest citing the “health excuse” that was stressed in the plea.
The court also banned Brunson from leaving Turkey and imposed a judicial control decision.
United States President Donald Trump last week called for his release and the U.S. Senate passed a bill last month including a measure that prohibits Turkey from buying F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets because of Brunson’s imprisonment and Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system.