WP: Trump Makes Deal with Israel to Free Citizen of Turkey

Washington Post has reported that Trump requested citizen of Turkey Ebru Özkan from Israel for Pastor Brunson to be released. Israeli newspaper Haaretz has confirmed the report.

Click to read the article in Turkish

According to Washington Post published in the US and confirmation of Haaretz published in Israel, US Donald Trump has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release citizen of Turkey Ebru Özkan, who was arrested in Israel on suspicion that Özkan aided Hamas.

Trump asked Netanyahu about Özkan during a phone call they made on July 14, Washington Post reported.

In this phone call, Trump asked for release of Özkan, who faces four different charges, according to the reports.

Speaking to Haaretz, an Israeli official confirmed that Trump pressured Netanyahu to free the citizen of Turkey.

Özkan was released a day after this meeting.

According to the alleged deal in the report, US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson would be released in exchange of Ebru Özkan.

Reuters: A senior Turkish official refuted the claim

Speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, a “senior Turkish official” said on Friday that the reports are “completely baseless”.

"Turkey cheated by upping the ante"

A Trump's advisor told Washington Post, "Turks had cheated by upping the ante".

Interviewing to the newspaper, the officials advocated that "that there had been no misunderstanding of the terms of the deal".

A White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, "Turkey missed a real opportunity. Pastor Brunson is not a bargaining chip".

Sanction statement by the US

Detainment of Pastor Brunson was converted to house arrest on July 25 but the US didn’t find it enough.

First, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We don’t find it enough”, and then Vice President Mike Pence said, “Release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequences”.

On his Twitter account, US President Donald Trump said, ““The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”.

“Financial limitation” bill on Turkey

The US Senate passed the bill that limits Turkey getting loan from international financial institutions until “Turkey end unjust detention of US citizens” last week.

On previous day, US Senate and the House of Representatives temporarily stopped delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey despite US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ objection. (PT/TK)

İstanbul - BIA News Desk

27 July 2018, Friday