Turkish FM, US counterpart speak over phone

By Zuhal Demirci


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke over the phone following the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, a Turkish diplomatic source said Friday.

A Turkish court sentenced the pastor to three years and 45 days in prison on Friday, but he will not serve the time in jail. The court credited his time spent in detention, and ended his house arrest and travel ban. 

Cavusoglu and Pompeo made the phone call after the release of the U.S. pastor, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

No further details of the phone call were given.

The pastor was arrested on Dec. 9, 2016 on charges of being member of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). On July 25, citing Brunson’s health problems, an Izmir court ordered him moved from jail to house arrest. 

Brunson’s charges include spying for the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey — and FETO, the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.