Turkey’s Dangerous Game of ‘Hostage Diplomacy’

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  • How an American pastor became a political pawn for Erdogan

On October 7, 2016, Andrew Brunson, a 50-year-old American pastor working as a missionary in Turkey, received a call from the police requesting that he come in for a visit.

  • Diego Cupolo
  • The Atlantic

Since 1995, Brunson had lived in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, serving as a Presbyterian pastor.

When the police got in touch, he had been awaiting the renewal of his residence permit, and figured it might be ready.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters during a meeting of the ruling AK Party in Izmir, Turkey April 28, 2018. Picture taken April 28, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. - RC12A261D450

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters during a meeting of the ruling AK Party in Izmir, Turkey April 28, 2018. Picture taken April 28, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. – RC12A261D450

Instead, the police detained him on suspicions of collaborating with terrorists, and imprisoned him without charges for the next year and a half.

Expectations for a quick dismissal or deportation order diminished, as Brunson was moved from one jail to another.

At times, he shared a…

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