ISTANBUL – A Turkish court on Friday for a third time rejected an appeal to release United States’ pastor Andrew Brunson from arrest.
Brunson, whose case has caused a diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington, was arrested in Turkey in October 2016 during the aftermath of the failed July 15, 2016 coup.
The Turkish state has claimed that Brunson had connections to Kurdish terrorist organizations as well as having committed espionage activities leading up to the failed uprising against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Erdogan’s AK Party.
The appeal was brought to a higher court after the Criminal Court in Izmir province twice this week refused to release Brunson.
Tensions have escalated in recent months as the two historic NATO allies have imposed sanctions on each other.
Earlier this month, the US government imposed sanctions on Turkey’s steel and aluminum imports while Erdogan has raised tariffs on some imported US goods and warned that his country may boycott electronic goods.