Brunson’s lawyer: secret witness practice ‘absolutely outlandish’

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt speaking with journalists at the entrance to the Sakran Prison complex on 7 May, 2018.
At the close of Turkey’s second trial hearing against US pastor Andrew Brunson, his lawyer has sharply protested the Izmir court’s reliance on secret prosecution witnesses against his client. Jailed for the past 19 months, the 50-year-old Evangelical Presbyterian minister was sent back to his cell in a maximum-security prison . . . Read More

Brunson’s trial highlights Turkey’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic

Brunson’s trial highlights Turkey’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic
On the eve of jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson’s second court hearing in Turkey, growing international comment has focused on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s transparent “hostage diplomacy” tactic, one of several issues seriously souring his nation’s relations with the United States. The upcoming 7 May hearing near Turkey’s third-largest . . . Read More

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court
Just one prisoner, slightly built, came through a side door, escorted on either side by armed gendarmerie soldiers, walking him past rows and rows of empty seats. Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, he glanced up at the impressive state-of-the-art courtroom, built to accommodate 650 people. Its walls . . . Read More

Erdogan demands Gulen extradition for US pastor’s release

Erdogan demands Gulen extradition for US pastor’s release
Responding over the weekend to public pressure from both US President Donald Trump and 66 members of the US Senate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan repeated his demand that US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen must be extradited back to Turkey if Washington expects Ankara to release jailed US pastor Andrew . . . Read More

Turkish court puts trial of US pastor on hold for three weeks

Turkish court puts trial of US pastor on hold for three weeks
Andrew Brunson got his first day in a Turkish court today (16 April) to answer espionage charges. It will be three weeks until he gets his second. The American-born Brunson, pastor of a small Protestant church, told the court he denies any wrongdoing. He is accused of supporting the attempted . . . Read More

Turkey calls for life imprisonment of US pastor Andrew Brunson

A photo of the Rev. Andrew Brunson during his time in prison.  Photo courtesy of World Witness
Turkish prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson in an official indictment presented to Izmir’s 2nd Criminal Court yesterday, 13 March. Arrested without bail since October 2016, Brunson is accused of being “a member and executive” of the Islamic movement led by self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, . . . Read More

Bomb scare intimidates another church in Turkey

Trabzon church in a 2007 photo (World Watch Monitor)
Turkish police were called to Trabzon’s Santa Maria Catholic Church on Sunday morning (4 February) to examine a smouldering device spotted in the garden by alarmed church staff. After discovering a partially burned homemade pipe bomb, which had failed to explode, local authorities promptly checked the church’s security camera footage. . . . Read More