Oct 12 2018

Resolving Brunson case will mean ‘drastic changes’ in U.S. ties – adviser

Resolving a dispute between the United States and Turkey over the internment of a U.S. pastor may not solve all problems in their relations, but it will surely pave the way for "drastic changes", said Ilnur Çevik, an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“The elimination of the Brunson case or some positive developments in this regard may not erase all the hitches we are experiencing,” Çevik said in a regular editorial for the Daily Sabah newspaper. “There are still many outstanding issues.”

The arrest of Brunson in 2016 on terrorism charges and his subsequent detention has been “blown out of proportion in the last few months” threatening the alliance between the two countries, Çevik said, pointing to sanctions imposed on Turkey by President Donald Trump.

Brunson appeared before a judge in the western Turkish city of Izmir on Friday. Speculation has increased that he will be released and returned home to the United States.

Would the United States have reacted in the same way had Israel arrested an American pastor on charges of collaborating with Hamas? Çevik questioned.

“We doubt that strongly,” he said.

“Let us hope Turkey and the U.S. sort out the pastor incident and concentrate on more pressing matters.”