“From Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that’s not bad”. President Trump succeeds in freeing Pastor BRUNSON from Turkish prison after two years of incarceration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2018
US Threatens Turkey
Back in August, Vice President Vice Pence threatened Turkey with sanctions if it did not free Pastor Brunson.
Turkey was holding Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American citizen, in prison and then house arrest for two years. He was living in Turkey for more than 20 years with his family. He was then basically taken hostage by the Turkish government. Turkish police arrested the Pastor in 2016, during the tenure of the Obama administration. Essentially, Turkey imprisoned him for spreading Christianity. They didn’t even charge him for more than a year.
Big day! Pastor Andrew Brunson, who could have spent 35 years in a Turkish prison, was returned safely home to his family today. Met in Oval Office, great people! Then off to Kentucky for a Rally for Congressman Andy Barr. Tremendous crowd & spirit! Just returned to White House.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2018
Basically, Turkey was holding an innocent man in prison. This is yet another sign of the anti-freedom and anti-democratic Turkish regime under Erdogan.
President Trump vs. Obama
While President Obama was extremely friendly with Turkish leader Erdogan, Obama either didn’t do anything to help free Pastor Brunson, or didn’t do enough. Yet, President Trump made it a priority to free this American Pastor even threating sanctions. It was inconceivable to him for an allied government to hold an American citizen hostage.
President Donald Trump appeared to take a swipe at the previous administration during Saturday’s meeting with Pastor Andrew Brunson, saying we “do not pay ransom in this country, at least any longer.” pic.twitter.com/Emz2QN2LZA
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 14, 2018
Turkey is Problematic
Turkey used to be a key ally of Israel’s in the Middle East. Essentially, Turkey was the Muslim country that Israel was closest to. Israel sold high-level military equipment to Turkey and trained Turkish military as well. However, the secular state of Turkey changed under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood-associated Erdogan. Today, Turkey is one of Israel’s biggest problems in the region. Erdogan has become a patron of Gaza and instigated Gazans to use violence against Israel. One of the best known Turkish belligerent events against Israel was the 2010 Gaza flotilla. Even though IDF soldiers alighted the ships sailing illegally into Israel water space, the Turkish sponsored travelers used violence against the IDF soldiers, even throwing one off of the ship after seriously wounding him.
Erdogan has since strengthened his hold on Turkey, turning it from the secular state it once was, into a strong Muslim state. Erdogan has been quite clear in stating that he aims to return the glory of the Muslim Ottoman Empire that Turkey once led.
Turkey and NATO
Turkey has been a major player in the flooding of Muslim refugees into Europe. It also has taken a very belligerent stance against the West, questioning it’s alliance to NATO, with the mandate to protect Europe.