US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Norine Brunson on his recent visit to Turkey. Turkish authorities arrested Brunson’s husband Andrew, an American pastor who has lived in Turkey for 20 years, in October for “membership in an armed terrorist organization.
In the week before the meeting, Andrew Brunson sent a statement to US embassy officials, calling on President Trump’s administration to intervene on his behalf. The statement read, “”I have been imprisoned since October 7, 2016. During this time the Turkish government has produced no proof and has rebuffed numerous attempts by the American government to secure my return to the United States. In fact, they are treating the U.S. government with contempt and paying no price for it.”
Norine Brunson posted on the couple’s Facebook account last week that she was told several days before the meeting that the Secretary would not be able to meet with her. She took her flight to Ankara anyway and met with another “significant person” in the State Department who was on the trip as well. After this, she was able to meet with Secretary Tillerson for 20 minutes. She reported that she does not know what will come from the meeting because of the current political circumstances in Turkey, but she said she was “grateful for the opportunity.”