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Poll: 65 Percent of Turks Approve Arrest of US Pastor Brunson

About 65 percent of the Turkish population thinks American pastor Andrew Brunson, who recently caused a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the U.S., should stay under arrest, according to a recent poll, announced by pro-government journalist Abdulkadir Selvi.

Selvi shared in his Tuesday column in Hurriyet the detailed results of a poll conducted by Optimar Research. The poll titled “Turkey’s Pulse” is based on face-to-face interviews with 1,787 individuals in 26 cities, between August 30 and September 1.

While 65.4 percent of the interviewees applauded Brunson’s arrest, 22.8 percent expressed opposition to the decision.

Brunson was arrested in Turkey two years ago on charges of “espionage” and “terrorism”. The evangelical Presbyterian missionary is accused to have ties to the Gulen movement, which the Turkish government holds responsible for July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.

In recent months, both U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence warned Turkey against “consequences” in case the country does not release Brunson.

After increasing pressure from the U.S., Turkey moved Brunson to house arrest in the province of Izmir on July 25. However, the Trump administration was not satisfied with the development and slapped economic sanctions on Turkey.

Among the sanctions were freezing U.S. assets of Turkish ministers of justice and interior, as well as doubling steel and aluminum tariffs on the country. In response to the U.S. sanctions, Turkey increased tariffs on imports of US goods.

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