- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Turkish court denied American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson’s appeal for an end to his house arrest and travel ban, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Mr. Brunson’s lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told Reuters one more upper court still needs to rule on the case. Mr. Halavurt said the decision could come sooner than the typical appeal process time frame of three to seven days.

“A ruling can come tomorrow, or even tonight,” he said, “These are appeals that require fast decision-making because they are related to an individual’s freedoms.”

Mr. Brunson is being held on terrorism charges after being tied to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Turkish authorities also accused him of being involved in the attempted 2016 military coup. The pastor has been imprisoned for over a year on these charges.

The U.S. slapped harsh sanctions on Turkish officials at the beginning of August in response to Mr. Brunson’s plight. The White House has repeatedly called for his release.

The U.S. and Turkey are also caught up in a tense trade war that recently escalated when President Trump decided to double tariffs for Turkey. Imported steel is now taxed at 50 percent and aluminum 20 percent.

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