Rex Tillerson meets with wife of pastor accused of terrorist affiliation

In Ankara yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with the wife of a jailed American pastor who has been detained for months facing accusations of being part of a terrorist organization accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. 

The State Department would not comment on the charges but an official traveling with Mr. Tillerson confirmed that following his meetings with Turkish officials, the secretary met with Norine Brunson to share the most recent information he had on Pastor Andrew Brunson’s case.

The meeting lasted 20 minutes, according to Norine Brunson, who posted details on her Facebook page. 

“I do not know what will come of it, considering the sensitive period Turkey is in, but was grateful for the opportunity,” she wrote.

The Brunsons had been living in Turkey and working there as missionaries for decades. According to Turkish media reports, Brunson was charged with members in the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The Secretary ‎committed to staying in touch with Mrs. Brunson regarding the case moving forward,” the official said.

Tillerson was in Ankara to meet with President Erdogan and other senior government ministers to discuss the ongoing fight against ISIS and the conflict in neighboring Syria.