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

Turkey arrests 140 more people over failed 2016 coup attempt

His trial is one of several legal cases which have strained relations between Turkey and the United States, who are also at odds over USA support for a Kurdish militia in northern Syria which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. He was arrested in October 2016 while running the Resurrection Church in the western city of Izmir.

Andrew Brunson, of Black Mountain, N.C., has spent 23 years living in Turkey with his wife, daughter and two sons. Andrew Craig Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical pastor from North Carolina, faces up to 35 years in prison on charges of "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member" and "espionage".

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

Prosecutors say Mr Brunson worked with a group led by Mr Gulen, who is living in exile in Pennsylvania in the USA, as well as with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Mr Brunson's lawyer, Cem Halavurt has called the charges "totally unfounded", saying they are based on testimony from secret informants.

Sensex tanks 293 points on weak Asian cues; Nifty below 10400-mark
The NSE Nifty index was trading 13 points down at 10,468, while the BSE Sensex was down 51 points at 34,141 around 10:50 am (IST). Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 399.59 crore on net basis on Friday, provisional data showed.

But Bozdag insisted Turkey's longstanding opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had not changed.

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. "There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out", Bozdag told reporters in Qatar.

According to CeCe Heil, executive senior counsel at US Christian group the American Center for Law and Justice, Mr Brunson has lost 50lb (23kg) during his detention and been denied private meetings with his lawyer.

Furnari said she isn't sure why her father was arrested.

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