An American pastor held for two years in Turkey on terror-related charges headed home to the United States on Saturday, where he was to meet with US President Donald Trump, who signaled an easing in the diplomatic crisis sparked by the case.
Trump said he would welcome Andrew Brunson who has become a cause celebre for the US leader’s conservative Christian base — at the White House shortly after arrival.
On Friday, a Turkish court in Aliaga convicted Brunson on charges of espionage and aiding terror groups. It sentenced him to three years, one month and 15 days in jail but released him based on time served and good behavior.
Trump thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his help on the case, which caused not only a serious diplomatic row between the NATO allies but led to a crash in the lira, exposing Turkey’s economic fragility.