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Turkey frees U.S. pastor, easing diplomatic spat

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:45s - Published < > Embed
News video: Turkey frees U.S. pastor, easing diplomatic spatDonald TrumpDonald Trump

The evangelical pastor at the heart of the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the United States and Turkey has been released by a Turkish court after being held in the country for two years.

Emily Wither was outside the court in Izmir.

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Turkey frees U.S. pastor, easing diplomatic spat

U.S Pastor Andrew Brunson is on his way home.

Taking off on a military plane from the Turkish city of Izmir AFTER TWO YEARS in detention ON ALLEGATIONS OF TERRORISM..

U.S President Donald Trump tweeting - "PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED.

WILL BE HOME SOON!" Perhaps Turkey's most expensive prisoner, BRUNSON became the center of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the U.S.... THAT LED TO ECONOMIC PAIN FOR TURKEY..

It saw the country's lira tumbling to a record low and global markets scrambling to deal with the fall out.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, EMILY WITHER, SAYING: "We heard from witness's today inside the court that said their previous testimonies had been misrepresented, that they were inaccurate.

Brunson listening to some of those testimonies remarked at one point, 'I don't see how any of this is related to me and just before that decision was handed down he said that he was an innocent man that he loved Jesus but also that he loved Turkey.

Pastor Brunson may have originally been from North Carolina but he has lived in Turkey now for over 20 years and he will probably now have to leave his home here for good.

Just as he was told that he'd be able to go free he broke down in to tears, his wife came up to the low partition and they hugged." Brunson's release will likely score points with U.S. evangelical Christians, a big part of TRUMP'S base and POTENTIALLY important with the November elections coming.

And while this decision is a first step to easing tensions between two NATO allies attention may now turn to the fate of other US nationals, including local employees of the U.S. consulate, also in detention.



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