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NC Pastor Takes Center Stage In US-Turkey Relations

Emre Tazegul
AP Photo
Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Last week, North Carolinapastor Andrew Brunsonwas moved from a jail in Turkey to house arrest until his trial continues in October. Brunson has spent 23 years in Turkey raising a family and serving as an evangelical minister. 

After a failed coup attempt in 2016, the Turkish government rounded up tens of thousands of people including non-diplomatic US citizens. Brunson was one of them. Held for over a year without being formally charged, the story made local headlines when Senator Thom Tillis publicly pressed for his release. Then, the story went national after a Trump tweet threatened major sanctions if he wasn’t released.

Irem Koker is a reporter with the BBC Turkish Service who has been following this story. She speaks with guest host Anita Rao on the latest developments in the Brunson case and how it may impact the once positive relationship between the US and Turkey.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
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