Turkey Court Refuses to Free US Pastor in Highly Charged Trial

Turkey Court Refuses to Free US Pastor in Highly Charged Trial

An American pastor who has been jailed in Turkey for a year and a half denied all charges against him in an emotional first day in court.

Furnari said she isn't sure why her father was arrested.

The pastor's lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told NBC News that he's not been told who the witnesses are and that Brunson denies the charges.

The 50-year-old Evangelical pastor is accused of helping the group led by Fethullah Gulen - an exiled Muslim preacher living in the United States, who Turkish officials say orchestrated the failed July 2016 coup.

The Turkish government has clearly linked Brunson's case with its determination to force the U.S.to extradite Gulen - and some see the pastor as a diplomatic pawn.

However the charges appear lighter than those outlined in the original indictment published on March 13, in which Brunson was accused of being a member of Gulen's group and risked life imprisonment if convicted.

Brunson, who moved to the country in 1993 and opened his Izmir church in 2010, added: 'I haven't done anything against Turkey.

The Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said that it will hold protest rallies in all provinces of the country against extension of the state of emergency.

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You knew that the Leafs would bring their biggest and strongest efforts to Game 3, as they were thoroughly embarrassed in Boston. He was forced into making creative saves through most of the game and did a great job keeping everything but the first two out.

A senior USA official told NBC News, "We are following this case closely, and since his arrest, we have visited Mr. Brunson regularly".

Halavurt said he expects his client to be released on Monday over what he called "very weak" accusations, but added that recent cases have shown that may not happen.

The United States, Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles at Syria on Friday in a "one-time shot" the Pentagon said followed evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack using at least chlorine gas.

More than 50,000 people are jailed under state-of-emergency decrees and more than 150,000 people have lost their jobs.

It is now been reported that two religious authorities in Zonguldak, Turkey, have been expelled from office by Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs for having invested in the Cryptocurrency.

Turkey's relations with Russian Federation are not so weak to be separated as the French president claimed, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday. "He's just a [pastor]".

The U.S. State Department said Brunson's case was being watched closely by "the entire U.S. government". The prosecution is seeking a jail sentence of up to 35 years.

Turkey is a crucial ally to the United States in the region, hosting an air base which North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has used for strikes against the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

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