A small loan of a million dollars won’t save Turkey from its current economic crisis. “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time,” President Trump said on Aug. 10, when he made the decision to double the tariffs he had previously imposed upon Turkey. As a result of this and a slew of other issues, the Turkish lira is now worth 17 percent of one U.S. dollar.
Why are our relations with Turkey so poor right now? One component is the unjust detention of pastor Andrew Brunson, as well as other Americans. Interestingly, no “other Americans” in nearly all news sources have been named, only Brunson.
One person being detained is a Turkish-American NASA physicist named Serkan Gölge. Because of this, we can assume that Brunson is deemed more important than the other Americans that are being held in Turkey.
Furthermore, Brunson has been in Turkey preaching since 1993, where he has held residence since then. So this wasn’t a brief vacation or mission trip. This was an extended stay that he chose.
He is currently on house arrest, and is no longer being held captive in a Turkish prison. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators led by our own Thom Tillis wrote a letter in July demanding his release, stating that the indictment of Brunson is “an absurd collection of anonymous accusations, flights of fantasy, and random character assassination,” and that “Brunson…is being used as a political pawn by elements of the Turkish government bent on destroying the longstanding partnership between two great nations.”
The list of indictments is long but in summary, the Turkish government believes that he has ties to the CIA, which allegedly ties him to the failed military coup that occurred in 2016. The Turkish government also believes that he has ties with a group that they consider terrorists, which is known as the Gülen movement.
It appears that a pastor with an alleged congregation of 25 people is the root of the negative relations with Turkey. This is not to say that his detainment isn’t unjust, based on the standpoints that are out there, but something doesn’t add up to me. I think that there may be some things that have been left out.
Can we really ever get all of the details without some Snowden-like data leak? I want all Americans to be free from unfair detainment- but I also want the truth.
Furthermore, is it really that outlandish that the CIA may have someone undercover that may have aided in facilitating a military coup? History shows that the CIA has done this on many occasions: in the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Philippines… the list goes on.
Could this be why there is such a consequence for their detainment of him or is it simply because President Trump and Vice President Pence care more because he is a Christian being detained, seemingly only for being Christian? In that case, is it worth crippling an entire economy? There are also many domestic cases of people being unfairly detained, marginalized and oppressed for a variety of cultural identities and beliefs on which they can focus the same amount of attention.