A court in İzmir on Friday ruled for the arrest of an American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson who lives in Turkey for 20 years over charges of links to Gülen movement that accused by government of masterminding the failed coup on July 15.
Brunson, his wife Norine was taken under police custody in an immigration center in İzmir on Oct. 7 for deportation.
While the court ruled for the release of Brunson’s wife, it also ruled for the arrest of the US pastor over charges of being a “threat to national security” there.
According to Hürriyet daily, Brunson’s arrest was based on a testimony by an anonymous witness in İzmir.
Brunson had escaped from an armed attack in İzmir in 2011 while in the yard of a church in İzmir.
Meanwhile, another American pastor Ryan Keating, who used to stay in Ankara for last 23 years along with his wife and children, was detained at İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport overnight on Oct. 8, interrogated and put on a plane to London.
Keating worked at the Kurtuluş Church in Ankara and was completing his doctorate’s degree in philosophy of religion at Ankara University.
According Religion News news portal, Keating said that he was locked in a room in Atatürk Airport— Turkish police called (it) the guest house — with 15 to 20 other people. “Some were suspected of being terrorists and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members,” Keating said.
“I was deemed a threat to national security that has become a blanket label used to deport anyone they don’t want without any evidence or investigation,” he added.