Turkey Won't Refuse to Cooperate With Russia, Iran on Syria - Deputy PM

Senior US official briefs Turkey on Syria situation

US pastor held in Turkey for his Christian faith, lawyer says

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, has denied all allegations, saying that he exclusively worked as a pastor.

Brunson is also accused of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party - a militant group that both Turkey and the United States consider a terrorist organization - and revealing state secrets.

At the Resurrection Church in Izmir, the congregation prayed on Sunday for Brunson, and his wife Norine read out a message in which he talked of the darkness and silence of his detention.

Andrew Brunson is accused of helping a group led by Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim preacher who Turkish authorities allege was behind a failed 2016 coup. The prosecution is seeking a jail sentence of up to 35 years.

Mr Brunson, 50, an evangelical pastor originally from North Carolina, appeared in court on Monday in the town of Aliaga for the first day of his trial.

Monday's court session will be attended by North Carolina senator Thom Tillis and USA envoy for religious freedom Sam Brownback.

The indictment says the charges are based on evidence obtained from Brunson's phone, as well as information from witnesses. Yours is not - he is living in Pennsylvania.

In an interview with French television, Macron suggested that the air strikes against Syria regime targets over the weekend had succeeded in engineering a split in the Russia-Turkey alliance.

But Bozdag insisted Turkey's longstanding opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had not changed. Turkey has formally sought the extradition of Mr Gulen, but the United States says it has not been given sufficient evidence to back up the request. "There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out", Bozdag told reporters in Qatar.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative Christian group in the U.S., has called Brunson a "hostage of the Turkish government".

Mr Brunson's daughter, Jacqueline Furnari, told a U.S. commission investigating the crackdown in Turkey that she had postponed her wedding in her father's absence. "Our prior expectation from the hearing is ending the arrest", he said.

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