Why Turkey Is Accusing an American Pastor of Terrorism

Here's the geopolitical context that’s landed this minister in prison.

Brunson is the “Christian pawn” in Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan’s political schemes, says Brian Stiller, the global ambassador for World Evangelical Alliance. Turkey wants the United States to extradite Gülen, making Brunson’s nationality a bonus for the regime, he suggested.

 

Andrew Brunson had been ministering in Izmir, Turkey, for nearly a quarter of a century before it all changed. In 2016, the American pastor was arrested and thrown in jail, without knowing his charges and without bail.

When Brunson’s trial finally started last month, he learned that he had been charged “of fueling unrest in the country through alleged involvement with exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an insurgent group.” Both movements are seen as enemies and threats to the Turkish government.

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Listen to a discussion on how Turkey’s political unrest fueled Brunson’s arrest