Is the exchange Fethullah Gülen with American pastor Brunson possible?
Concerning detainment of US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, US Vice President Mike Pence said, “We’re ready to impose sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson Craig is released” in a statement he made on July 30. Bianet reports in its article US Vice President Pence: We’re Ready to Impose Sanctions on Turkey that speaking on Fox News TV channel in the US, Pence said, “There is no credible evidence against Brunson” and added: “We’ve spoken with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and Turkish government directly since the government started to work. These talks continue without interruption. We took transfer of Brunson to house arrest with joy. I spoke with both Brunson and his wife. Brunson wants to return home. Brunson should be freed and allowed to return to his home in the US”.
Concerning the detainment of Pastor Brunson, US President Donald Trump declared that sanctions will be imposed on Turkey. The US President wrote 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. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
“Financial limitation” bill on Turkey
The US Senate passed the bill that limits Turkey getting loan from international financial institutions until “Turkey end unjust detention of US citizens” last week. On previous day, US Senate and the House of Representatives temporarily stopped delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey despite US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ objection.
"You have a priest, too"
Turkey learned the arrest of Brunson during the meeting of the President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump on July 17, 2017. At the meeting, Trump demanded that the Pastor Brunson be released from prison. As for President Erdoğan, he proposed the exchange of US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, the head of Gülen Community, which is charged with plotting the coup attempt on Jul 15, 2016, with Brunson. "The US wants extradition of a priest from us. You have a priest too. You hand him over us as well", Erdoğan said.