Turkey Remains Defiant: We Will Not Release Christian Pastor Andrew Brunson

|
|
Posted: Jul 30, 2018 11:25 AM
Turkey Remains Defiant: We Will Not Release Christian Pastor Andrew Brunson

Turkish President Recep Erdogan is refusing to release Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who was detained after Erdogan's 2016 power consolidation in the country. From CBN

They cannot make Turkey back down with sanctions," he told Turkish media. "We will not step back."

"The US should not forget that unless it changes its attitude, it will lose a strong and sincere partner like Turkey," he continued.

Brunson is facing a possible 35-year prison sentence on charges that he helped a group that tried to overthrow the government in 2016. His attorneys and the Trump administration say he's innocent and a political hostage of Erdogan.

Last week, President Trump asked Erdogan directly for Brunson's release and threatened new sanctions if the Turkish government does not comply.

During a speech to the State Department's first Misterial to Advance Religious Freedom, Vice President Mike Pence also demanded Brunson be released.

Pence also reiterated the seriousness of the U.S. to punish Turkey during an interview with Fox Business over the weekend.

Last week Brunson, who is reportedly in bad health, was moved from a Turkish prison to house arrest.