US pastor Brunson’s lawyer appeals jail sentence
The lawyer for United States evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson said on Oct. 17 he had appealed to a Turkish court against the jail sentence his client received last week for terrorism offenses.
Brunson was sentenced to more than three years for aiding terrorist organizations by a court in the western province of İzmir but was allowed to return to the U.S. and met U.S. President Donald Trump.
The lawyer İsmail Cem Halavurt has appealed against the verdict because it “contravened the law and procedures,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Oct. 17 urged Turkey to release another Turkish-U.S. citizen and former NASA scientist among other detainees. Pompeo reportedly raised the issue with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in a meeting in Ankara.
“The Secretary also discussed with Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu the continued wrongful detention of Dr. Serkan Gölge and other U.S. citizens as well as locally employed staff from U.S. mission Turkey,” department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Gölge was arrested on charges of espionage and terror in July 2016, days after the failed military coup widely believed to have been carried out by followers of the U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen. A local court convicted Gölge of being a member of the illegal FETÖ on Feb. 8.