Date: 19/10/2021
Email: Keep my email address private
**Your comments must be approved before they appear on the site.

You are posting a comment about...
Turkey - Free Pastor Andrew Brunson

by the News & Observer Editorial Board:

Andrew Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical Christian pastor from Black Mountain, served the people of western Turkey for more than 20 years. For that, the Turkish government threw Brunson in prison.

Turkey has accused Brunson of participating in a failed coup attempt in 2016, but has presented no credible evidence to back its charges. Turkey, a secular nation, has been a member of NATO since the 1950s and has been an important American ally. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once a promising leader of one of the few democracies with a Muslim majority (Turkey is more than 99 percent Muslim).

But in recent years, Erdogan seems determined to move from democracy to autocracy. He’s cracked down on the press, expanded his powers and limited personal freedoms. After the failed coup, the Turkish government “arrested, suspended, or dismissed more than 100,000 security personnel, journalists, judges, academics, and civil servants due to their alleged connection with the attempted coup,” according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

What does Pastor Brunson have to do with any of that?

Erdogan believes the leader of the coup attemp was Fethullah Gulen, a 77-year-old Turkish cleric who now lives in Pennsylvania. And like any insecure authoritarian, Erdogan is determined to bring Gulen back to Turkey to extract revenge. So Brunson, who founded the Izmir Resurrection Church in Turkey, is to Erdogan not a man of God but a bargaining chip.

“Give us that pastor,” Erdogan said last year, referring to Gulen, “and we will do what we can in the judiciary to give you this one (Brunson).”

[ARRA Editor's Note: Unlike Pastor Branson who has been imprisioned and is still prohibited from leaving Turkey, Fethullah Gulen is free in the U.S. to do anything he wishes including returning to Turkey which could probably result in his death.]

Brunson was in prison for 20 months and recently was released to house arrest. The North Carolinian, whose daughter graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in December, faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at the end of his ongoing trial, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Thom Tillis, R-NC, has done admirable work in bringing Brunson’s incarceration to the attention of the world. Tillis has visited Brunson twice in Turkey and takes to the Senate floor every week to remind his countrymen of Brunson’s plight. He also garnered the support of Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and James Lankford, R-Okla. Several House members from North Carolina also have pushed for Brunson’s release

“I heard that he was really concerned that maybe the American people would look at the indictment and believe it and forget him,” Tillis told The News & Observer’s Brian Murphy in April. “It was important for me to go over there, face-to-face visit him in prison and tell him that that’s not going to happen.”

Tillis, who has observed part of Brunson’s trial, described it as “truly a kangaroo court” with secret witnesses.

In part because of Tillis’ efforts, President Donald Trump has taken up Brunson’s cause and increased the pressure on Erdogan. Last week, Trump said he was doubling tariffs on imported Turkish metals to punish Turkey for refusing to free Brunson; on Tuesday, Erdogan said Turkey would boycott U.S.-made electronic products. The Washington Post called it the worst crisis among NATO alllies in decades. Turkey has serious economic problems, so Trump’s leverage appears to be strong.

When a recent Post editorial criticized the Turkish government for imprisoning Brunson, among other things, Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S. responded to the Post. He assured Americans that democracy was thriving in Turkey and they should have no concerns.

Absent from his 254-word letter was a single word saying that Turkey had any evidence that Brunson had committed a crime.

Pre-order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!
Enter Goodreads givaway.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!



Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Ahnaf Kalam (2) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew E. Harrod (2) Andrew Harrod (5) Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Bat Ye'or (6) Bill Corden (6) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Bruce Bawer (22) Carol Sebastian (1) Christina McIntosh (869) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (758) Daniel Mallock (5) David Ashton (1) David J. Baldovin (3) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Devdutta Maji (1) Dexter Van Zile (75) Donald J. Trump (1) Dr. Michael Welner (3) E. B Samuel (1) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (14) Esmerelda Weatherwax (10123) Fergus Downie (23) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (77) G. Tod Slone (1) Gary Fouse (183) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (349) George Rojas (1) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (31) Hugh Fitzgerald (21503) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (25) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (2) Janet Charlesworth (1) Janice Fiamengo (4) jeffrey burghauser (2) Jenna Wright (1) Jerry Gordon (2523) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (4) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (6) John M. Joyce (394) John Rossomando (1) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Jordan Cope (1) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Hanson (1) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (29) Lawrence Eubank (1) Lev Tsitrin (25) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Manda Zand Ervin (3) Marc Epstein (9) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Martha Shelley (1) Mary Jackson (5065) Matthew Hausman (50) Matthew Stewart (2) Michael Curtis (791) Michael Rechtenwald (65) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2594) New English Review Press (134) Nidra Poller (74) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McGregor (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (238) Rebecca Bynum (7250) Reg Green (34) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (19) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (85) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sam Westrop (2) Samuel Chamberlain (2) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stacey McKenna (1) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (35) Sumner Park (1) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (981) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (33) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive