09:40 GMT +320 August 2018
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    Turkish riot police stand guard outside the Justice Palace in Istanbul March 31, 2015.

    Trump Calls on Erdogan to Free US Pastor From Turkish Jail

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    US President Donald Trump has slammed Turkey for keeping a US pastor in custody on charges of aiding a terrorist group behind the failed coup.

    "A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison," US president tweeted on Wednesday.

    The US pastor has been held in a Turkish jail since October 2016 for allegedly threatening national security by having ties to the organizers of the July 2016 coup attempt to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    US media reported that Brunson and his wife ran a ministry in the Turkish coastal town of Izmir for nearly 20 years.

    Thousands of people from all walks of life have been detained in Turkey over the years on accusation of having links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of having plotted the coup.

    Related:

    Erdogan Proposes Release of US Pastor Brunson in Exchange for Gulen Extradition
    Tags:
    terrorism, prison, pastor, Andrew Brunson, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Donald Trump, Turkey, United States
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