Senior US official briefs Turkey on Syria situation

Turkish Police

Turkish Police

He was arrested in October 2016 while running the Resurrection Church in the western city of Izmir.

A Christian pastor from North Carolina living in Turkey for 23 years, Brunson has been indicted on charges of helping the group that Turkey holds responsible for the failed 2016 coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.

The 50-year-old evangelical pastor from North Carolina was arrested in December 2016 for alleged links to both an outlawed Kurdish insurgent group and the network of the US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Andrew Brunson goes on trial on charges of aiding terror groups in a case that has raised tensions between Washington and Ankara.

Monday's court session will be attended by North Carolina senator Thom Tillis and US envoy for religious freedom Sam Brownback.

Mr Gulen has denied any involvement in the attempted coup, and the European Union has said it does not share Turkey's view that his network is a terror organisation.

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If convicted, he faces up to 35 years behind bars.

In an interview with French television, Macron suggested that the air strikes against Syria regime targets over the weekend had succeeded in engineering a split in the Russia-Turkey alliance.

While Turkey is cooperating with both Russian Federation and Iran to wind down some of the violence in Syria, Ankara has long demanded that President Bashar al-Assad must go and has backed rebels against him. Turkey has formally sought the extradition of Mr Gulen, but the U.S. says it has not been given sufficient evidence to back up the request.

Mr Brunson's daughter, Jacqueline Furnari, told a USA commission investigating the crackdown in Turkey that she had postponed her wedding in her father's absence.

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

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