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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, a day before the Brunson hearing, that the release of the pastor would be an important step and the right thing for Turkey to do.

When the verdict was read out, Brunson wept and hugged his wife Norine.

"Like the Turkish courts, the Republic of Turkey does not receive instructions from any body, authority, office or person", Altun, the Turkish official, said.

In July 2018 he was released from prison for health reasons and moved to house arrest until his trial.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently signalled a coming military operation against the YPG east of the Euphrates River.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor (Andrew) Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!"

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt said Brunson, 50, was expected to leave Turkey for the United States soon. We're grateful to the President, Members of Congress, and diplomatic leaders who continued to put pressure on Turkey to secure the freedom of Pastor Brunson.

The evangelical pastor was convicted of terror-related charges, but he was also accused of espionage.

"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!" However, the judge ruled that Brunson's sentence could be released to two years time served for good behavior. "I am also grateful that President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo, Ambassador Brownback, Senator Tillis, and other U.S. officials refused to take "no" for an answer for this man's release".

Friday's decision could be a first step to ease tensions, although Turkey's presidency took aim at what it said was a prolonged USA effort to put pressure on its courts.

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William Devlin, an evangelical pastor from NY spoke to reporters outside the prison, saying hundreds of thousands of Christians are praying for Brunson's release.

The PKK - a Turkish-Kurdish rebel group fighting for autonomy since the 1980s - is considered a terrorist group by Turkey and the US.

The U.S. continues to refuse Ankara's demands that the cleric Gulen be extradited.

The resumption of the trial came at a sensitive time for the Turkish leadership, which is under global scrutiny over how it handles the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul. The government argued that the American pastor was involved in the failed 2016 military coup, which Mr. Brunson and the USA denied.

In July, Trump had threatened to hit Turkey with "large sanctions" if it failed to release Brunson.

But the source cautioned that Brunson has appeared close to release before.

Prosecutors accuse Brunson of committing crimes on behalf of terror groups, linking him to outlawed Kurdish militants and a network led by a US-based Turkish cleric who is accused of orchestrating the coup attempt.

A United States pastor has left Turkey after more than two years in detention in a case that badly strained ties with the US.

But a top Turkish official criticized Trump's tweets claiming that he was "working hard" to get the pastor's release.

The fourth hearing against Andrew Brunson began at 10:40 a.m.in a prison complex in the Aliağa district of the coastal city of İzmir, ending at 4:28 p.m. with the court's ruling.


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