Turkey distances itself from Iran, Russia and USA on Syria

Detained American pastor goes on trial in Turkey

"In an indication of the importance of the case for Washington, also in court were Sam Brownback, the US ambassador at large for religious freedoms (sic), and Sen". Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical pastor from North Carolina, was arrested in December 2016.

"I want the whole truth to be revealed".

"Turkey's Syria policy is not a policy of being on the same side or being opposed to another country", Bozdag told reporters in Qatar in response to a journalist's question about Macron's remarks.

Brunson's lawyer said he was healthy but "demoralized" after being stuck behind bars, having missed his daughter's engagement and another child's graduation. "I would love for others to join this and pray for Andrew whenever you eat breakfast lunch and dinner - whatever time zone you are in!"

Brunson added, "I am a Christian pastor".

Brunson, 60, spent more than two decades running a small church in Turkey before he was detained in October 2016 and accused of supporting Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric based in the US. Both are designated terror groups in Turkey.

Andrew Brunson was arrested in 2016 while he was working as a missionary there and accused of partaking in terrorist organisations.

An American pastor who has been jailed in Turkey for a year and a half denied all charges against him in an emotional first day in court.

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Jacqueline Furnari, Brunson's daughter, told NBC News her family is happy the case is moving forward but is concerned it could drag on further. "Will the judge and the authorities trying the case agree to my request that they let Pastor Brunson go free and imprison me in place of him?" said Devlin.

"We think we can debunk these claims tomorrow", Brunson's lawyer said.

Sam Brownback, US ambassador at large for religious freedom, speaks to journalists in front of Turkey's Aliaga court and prison complex, during the trial of US pastor Andrew Brunson, held on charges of aiding terror groups.

Gulen, now lives in exile in Pennsylvania, and in a speech past year Erdogan appeared to suggest Brunson could be traded for Gulen.

Washington has known for Brunson's re lease though Erdogan suggested this past season his fate might possibly be associated with that of US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition Ankara has sought to face charges within the coup endeavor.

The US authorities in November and February quietly dropped all charges against 11 bodyguards of Erdogan accused of attacking protesters during the Turkish strongman's visit to Washington previous year.

Brunson has been indicted on charges of assisting the band which Turkey retains in charge of the failed coup from President Tayyip Erdogan.

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