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Andrew Brunson accused of having 'dark links to terror' by Turkish president

by Cara Bentley

Andrew Brunson, who led Izmir Resurrection Church, has been detained in Turkey since October 2016, accused of being part of a coup which failed to bring down the government.

Thousands of journalists, academics and civil servants were also arrested around the same time as part of a crack-down.

Since then, there has been various attempts by the US to release Brunson, through warnings from President Trump, talk of deals with Turkish prisoners in America and the threat of sanctions.

On Monday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that they will oppose any more sanctions America tries to put on them after sanctions in August brought the Turkish lira to record lows.

He said at the first session of parliament: "We are deeply saddened by the current US government, a strategic partner, targeting our country without any logical, political and strategic consistency."

He said he would combat: "this crooked understanding, which imposes sanctions using the excuse of a pastor who is tried due to his dark links with terror organizations."

Brunson's next court hearing is 12th October where he is accused of links with Fethullah Gulen, thought to be the leader of the coup, and Kurdish militants.

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