The days of bowing and scraping to dictators ended when Barak Obama left office and now Turkey faces the full force of the United States as Pres. Donald J. Trump takes up the cause of jailed America pastor Andrew Brunson.
The North Carolina pastor was arrested in October, 2016, on charges related to his Christian preaching. The Obama Administration failed to head off the arrest or gain his release. Previous to the allegations, Turkish nationals attempted a coup against Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Muslim extremist has been accused of crimes against his own people, including genocide of the Kurds.
The atrocities in Turkey have caused a global outcry and peaceful nations such as Sweden have threatened international arrest warrants against Erdogan and members of his regime.
Pres. Trump and Vice Pres. Pence enlisted the skills of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to apply diplomatic pressure to the Turkish regime to release pastor Brunson. The insistence by the Trump Administration has created tough talk and the president is prepared to move forward with damaging economic sanctions.
“A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him,” Pres. Trump recently tweeted.
Originally from Black Mountain, N.C., pastor Brunson has led a Christian congregation in Turkey for the past 23 years. His Izmir Resurrection Church is at odds with the Muslim radicalization of Turkey under Erdogan and he faces upwards of 35 years in prison for speaking the Gospel.
The U.S. has taken an unyielding stance against what officials characterize as farcical legal proceedings. Hearings against the American pastor have been held in secret, witnesses’ names are not being disclosed and the root of the claims appears to stem from honest words spoken against the Kurdish genocide perpetrated by Erdogan.
In 2015, the organization known as Fethullah Gülen attempted to remove President Erdogan by force. The coup failed, and the hardline leader has been conducting a witch hunt against those who speak out about his crimes against humanity ever since. Pres. Trump has brought international pressure to bear with the expectation that foreign countries such as Turkey will not wrongful hold Americans.
“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,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
Vice Pres. Pence backed the U.S. position while speaking at a religious freedom conference.
“To President (Tayyip) Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America: release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequences,” he reportedly said.
In recent months, Iran has suffered the full force of American sanctions. The value of its currency has plummeted to a historic low. Major international corporations have already severed ties to the rogue nation ahead of U.S. sanctions. Iran’s economy went into a freefall and the first wave of U.S. sanctions has not even hit home yet.
Similarly, North Korea buckled under the strain of Pres. Trump’s economic stranglehold. The communist regime has already taken steps to roll back its nuclear aspirations and offered an olive branch by returning the remains of fallen American servicemen from the Korean War.
Already, Russian steel manufacturer MMK has pulled back on plans to launch a major initiative in Turkey. The Middle Eastern nation being at odds with the Trump Administration was a significant factor. MMK did not want to get swept up in a round of sanctions or tariffs and decided to take its business elsewhere. The mere uncertainty of Trump-imposed sanctions and tariffs sends ripples through the business world.
“Turkey’s economy is very shaky,” senior Atlantic Council fellow Anders Aslund reportedly said. “Erdogan has taken command over the economy and he has negative macroeconomic credibility, so we expect a serious current account crisis. U.S. threats of sanctions aggravate it.”
Turkey’s economy and currency are feeling tremors from the impending U.S. quake. The value of the Turkish Lira appears to be rapidly declining.
In the wake of Pres. Trump’s pressure, pastor Brunson has been released from the harsh conditions of the Turkish prison system. The change to house arrest came after negotiations between Secretary of State Pompeo and his Turkish counterparts proved fruitful.
Foreign leaders may have held Americans with impunity during the Obama years, but the new administration expects Americans to be treated fairly at home and abroad. With Pres. Trump in the White House, America no longer abandons its sons and daughters.
~ Christian Patriot Daily