US pastor's lawyer to lodge appeal at top Turkey court

Hugh Fox
October 4, 2018

Thousands of rival demonstrators hit the streets of Cologne as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the country's largest mosque at the end of his visit to Germany.

Erdogan visited Berlin last week in an attempt to mend bilateral ties that have deteriorated since a number of German citizens were jailed in Turkey in a crackdown that has followed a failed coup in July 2016. He has denied the charges and Washington has demanded his immediate release.

Since March 14, the German government has only issued 16 export permits to Turkey worth 916,902 euros (1.06 million US dollars), according to a parliamentary reply from the Economy Ministry to an opposition question.

"Our goal is to completely clear Sinjar and Mount Qandil of the separatist terrorist organisation [referring to PKK]", Erdogan said during his speech at the opening of Turkish Parliament's second legislative session in the capital Ankara.

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Brunson's case has become the most divisive issue between the two countries.

After the deterioration of relations between the U.S. and Turkey, President Erdogan urged foreign companies to invest in the country's economy.

Before returning home, Erdogan traveled to the western city of Cologne where several thousand critics turned out to protest everything from Turkey's record on human rights and press freedom to its treatment of minority Kurds.

Brunson, an evangelical who runs a small evangelical Protestant church in Izmir, is the centre of a bitter standoff between the Turkey and the United States.

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On recent developments in the Turkish economy, Erdogan said, "They tried to topple our economy under the cover of darkness".

"We are in favor of a four-way meeting with the presidents of Turkey, Russia and France and myself because the situation (in Syria) is still fragile", Merkel told reporters after talks with Erdogan.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 firmed more than 2 percent on Monday, reaching its strongest level in more than six weeks, on growing optimism that Brunson might be released and following a hike in interest rates and the government's new economic programme.

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