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Trump calls for pastor's release from Turkey, days after fist-bumping Erdogan

President Donald Trump has tweeted about his outrage at the holding of Andrew Brunson days after saying President Erdogan is "doing things the right way" at the NATO summit.

Pastor Andrew Brunson is one of 75,000 people arrested for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric whom Ankara blames for attempted overthrow of the government two years ago. 

After a failed coup in 2016, the Turkish government declared a 'state-of-emergency', allowing them emergency powers to arrest thousands and purge 130,000 civil servants from government jobs.

The state of emergency powers expire at midnight on Thursday but yesterday it was announced that Brunson would remain imprisoned until his next hearing in October.

Donald Trump tweeted: "A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!"

Brunson's wife Norine often keeps supporters up to date on their facebook page and wrote yesterday: "Andrew was remanded to prison until his next hearing, October 12, when two more secret witnesses, one more prisoner and at least one other witness will testify against him. I know his heart must be broken tonight, again."

She added that he is touched by people's prayers and that God was being glorified through him, saying: "As he explained why he was here, he gave the gospel. He publicly forgave all those who have come against him, forgiving as he has been forgiven."

Just a few days ago, Donald Trump was praising President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit of world leaders. 

He was frustrated that other NATO members weren't spending as much as the US on defence but said: "Except for Erdogan over here, he does things the right way," and then fist-bumped President Erdogan.

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