U.S. government’s moves have worked against Brunson, says Brunson's lawyer

The application for the release of US. Pastor Andrew Brunson will be submitted to the Turkish Constitutional Court on Tuesday and the U.S. government’s policy so far has worked against Brunson, pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper reported his lawyer Cem Halavurt as saying.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 and later charged with links to organisations listed in Turkey as terrorist organisations, including the conservative Islamist Gülen movement that Turkey blames for 2016 coup attempt, and left-wing Kurdish armed rebels.

The almost two-year detention of the evangelical pastor sparked a diplomatic row between Turkey and the United States in recent months. U.S. government imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers and increased tariffs on Turkish metals in August, after a Turkish court moved Brunson from prison to house arrest, instead of releasing him. 

“This has been a difficult process due to reciprocal showdowns. U.S. government’s moves that increased the tension has worked against us,us, has not made a positive effect on the case,” Halavurt said. 

Brunson’s health and spirits has improved since he was moved to house arrest, Halavurt said. “Now the uncertainty surrounding the case makes my client anxious. We await the result impatiently.”

Halavurt expects that the process for the Constitutional Court to examine the application to take one or to months, while Brunson’s next hearing is set for Oct. 12.