Turkey denies claims of 'deal with US'

Reports claiming Turkey-US deal to secure release of Ebru Ozkan in return of US pastor baseless, says senior official

Turkey denies claims of 'deal with US'

World Bulletin / News Desk

A senior Turkish official on Friday denied reports of a deal between Ankara and Washington to secure the release of a Turkish citizen in Israel in exchange of a U.S. pastor in Turkey.

Speaking to AA on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the official said: "We have seen media reports claiming that a deal was made between Turkey and the U.S. to secure the release of Ebru Ozkan, a Turkish citizen imprisoned in Israel on bogus terrorism charges, in return for the release of Andrew Brunson by a Turkish court." 

"Those reports are completely baseless. The Turkish government has no intention of meddling in the affairs of the country’s independent judiciary," the official added. 

The reports have been doing the rounds on U.S. media.

After her visit to Jerusalem, Ozkan was arrested on June 11 at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport right before she was returning to Turkey and the court granted her conditional release on July 11. 

Brunson, arrested in the Aegean province of Izmir in December 2016 over charges of committing crimes for terror groups FETO and PKK,  was recently transferred to house arrest due to his health problems.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2018, 13:57