This weekend we saw the successful release of an American clergyman from a Turkish prison. Pastor Andrew Brunson was whisked away as soon as he walked out of Turkish jailors and flown to a US military installation in nearby Germany. From there he was given a medical exam and then put on a flight to the US where President Donald Trump asked him & James Lankford to come to the White House for a Saturday welcoming celebration.
The effort for Brunson's release started years ago when a failed coup was followed by a paranoid crackdown by the strongman president, Tayyip Erdogan. Any foreigner was viewed with suspicion, especially in the aftermath of several "Arab Spring" revolutions which are globally attributed to the Barack Obama administration's foreign policy of Hillary Clinton.
In June, the Turkish opposition media, AHVAL, puts it this way;
The Oklahoma senator was among a group that has pushed a bill through senate calling for a halt to weapons sales to Turkey, including of the latest-generation F-35 fighter, and demanding sanctions to respond to Turkey’s purchase of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.
“Watching the government reaching out to the Russians, at the same time they are working with us to try to acquire the F-35s to be able to also acquire the Russian missile defense systems. That does not ally with NATO, does not interface with NATO missile defense and it violates the most basic part of the NATO relationship,” said Lankford at the event.
"The United States can “no longer know and no longer recognise” its NATO ally, Turkey, due to its drift towards Russia and the jailing of U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson," U.S. Senator James Lankford said during remarks opening a panel discussion on Wednesday at the U.S. senate arranged by the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Lankford has consequently advised U.S. businesses not to work with Turkey, where a state of emergency has been in place since the coup attempt and U.S. citizens’ security cannot be guaranteed.
“At any point you can have one of your employees travel to Turkey, they could be swept up and held without charges for a year and a half or more. That is not something I want to explain to one of the family members that are still back home, why one of your employees in your company is now being held hostage because they ate at the wrong restaurant, because they talked to the wrong person on the street, because they tweeted a picture they should not tweet,” said Lankford.