and time already served.

President Donald Trump talks to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they arrive for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, July 11, 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had resisted USA demands for Brunson's release, insisting that Turkish courts are independent.

His wife, who lived in Turkey with Brunson, was afraid to leave the country during his imprisonment because she was afraid she would not be allowed to return, Tillis told McClatchy in April.

Turkey has been criticized for the sweeping arrests after the coup attempt, where tens of thousands of people were taken into custody over their supposed links to terrorist groups.


In August, a Turkish court rejected an appeal for Brunson's release, leading to economic sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump and souring relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Norine Brunson, the wife of US pastor Andrew Brunson, is escorted by a USA embassy official before his trial in Izmir, Turkey on Friday.

The diplomatic stand-off over Mr Brunson, who led a small congregation at the Izmir Resurrection Church, accelerated a sell-off in Turkey's currency, worsening a financial crisis.

After the ruling, Brunson's lawyer said the pastor was likely to leave Turkey. Upon news of the court decision, he wrote, "PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED".

Now, after several months under house arrest, the Turkish government has made a decision to release the pastor.

He was accused of contacting people linked to Fethullah Gulen, a prominent Turkish cleric living in exile in the US whom Erdogan has blamed for the coup.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said at the time that the United States was prepared to add more sanctions if Brunson wasn't released.


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