Trump administration warns NATO Turkey to end its persecution of a Christian pastor
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Donald Trump of America and other powerful members of his administration have warned Turkey, a fellow NATO member, to stop persecuting Andrew Brunson who is a Christian pastor. Of course, given the dictatorial nature of President Tayyip Erdogan, then political elites in Turkey are up in arms. However, the treatment of the Christian pastor in Turkey says much about this nation under the current leader.
Trump stipulated strongly on Twitter, “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being.”
The leader of America continued, “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
Historically, the treatment of Christians in this nation is abysmal and this follows on from the legacy of the Ottoman Empire. Indeed, the Alevis, a minority Muslim group in Turkey, equally suffer from institutional discrimination. At the same time, vast numbers of political prisoners are in prison in Turkey. Likewise, independent Kurds who don’t follow the Erdogan line suffer alarmingly and the same applies to Kurds in Northern Syria who have suffered greatly because of the intrigues of Erdogan.
Mike Pence, the Vice President of America, uttered strongly, “To President (Tayyip) Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America: release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequences.”
Reuters reports, “Brunson, who is from North Carolina and has worked in Turkey for more than 20 years, has been accused of helping the group Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in 2016. The pastor, who has denied the charges, faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.”
It remains to be seen how Turkey will respond but it isn’t in the interest of Erdogan to up the ante over this issue. If Turkey ignores the reasonable stance of the Trump administration, then tensions will continue to fray between these two powerful NATO members.
Pence, in the knowledge that Brunson’s daughter was listening to his remarks about her father, reassured her greatly. He stated, “I promise you, as I told your father yesterday, President Trump and I will continue to fight to secure your father’s full release until he is restored to his family and returns to the United States of America.”
Overall, if Erdogan doesn’t relent then this time he will be taking on more than he can chew. Hence, it is essential that Turkey doesn’t ignore the veiled warnings of the Trump administration.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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