Israel Confirms Trump Helped with Turkish Detainee’s Release to Free Pastor Brunson

Israel on Friday confirmed U.S. media reports that President Donald Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a July 14 phone call to release Ebru Özkan, a Turkish woman accused of Hamas ties, in exchange for Turkey’s release of imprisoned American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been detained on terror and espionage charge. Turkey had denied these reports.

Ebru Ozkan - Andrew Brunson

Turkey May Face U.S. Sanctions over Imprisoned American Pastor

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, two U.S. Secretaries of State, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) pressed Turkish officials this week to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in prison since October 2017 for allegedly aiding terrorists.

Detained US pastor goes on trial in Turkey April 16: report

Turkey Will Keep U.S. Christian Pastor in Prison Until at Least July

An American pastor facing 35 years in prison in Turkey for alleged ties to terrorist groups will not have a chance to leave prison until his next hearing on July 18, the court presiding over his case decided on Monday after dismissing all witnesses assembled to defend the pastor without listening to their testimony.

Andrew Brunson