An American Christian pastor who has been detained in Turkey for 21 months has been released, according to Reuters. Andrew Brunson left a Turkish prison on Wednesday and will reportedly be transferred to house arrest. Many are crediting President Donald Trump with his release from prison, as the president has publicly for the pastor to be freed from detention.
His release also comes after the U.S. was planning to unveil a “harsh policy” against Turkey, which was likely in direct response to Brunson’s detention. The pastor was likely stunned to be released after just shy of two years, but this is another example of how Trump has made it a top priority to get Americans detained across the world freed.
Brunson, who has worked in Turkey for more than 20 years, was detained on Oct. 2016 and charged with helping a group the Turkish government claims was connected to a failed military coup that year.
He is required to wear an electronic monitor on his ankle and cannot leave the country, but he is no longer stuck in a detention facility.
Turkey allowing Brunson to leave detention is considered by many to be a concession and attempt to quell tensions with America.
Of course, his release came after a few back-and-forths between both nations.
The U.S. was reportedly told by Turkish leaders that Brunson would be freed last week at his trial. When he was not released, Trump allegedly met with officials at the White House and planned to unveil a new “harsh policy” in retaliation.
Brunson was released on Wednesday, but only after the U.S. threatened to unveil a new tough policy against them.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Brunson’s release from detention on Wednesday, calling it long overdue news.”
He also said that there was no credible evidence against Brunson that he was involved in the military coup against the government two years ago.
Pompeo argued that the Pastor’s case should be resolved quickly so that he can return home.
Brunson being released from detention is a step in the right direction, and one many are applauding. The president has made it clear several times that this father and husband should be brought back home to his family, and his threat of unveiling a “harsh policy” against Turkey helped get one step closer to that goal.