On May 4, a pro-government Turkish magazine published a special edition falsely alleging that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (Istanbul) helped stage the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2020 Annual Report and recommended the US government include Turkey on the State Department’s “Special Watch List” for “engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom.”
Pastor Brunson is free, but many others are not. The U.S. should not push Turkey away, but continue the hard work of diplomatic engagement around core human rights issues. It should also continue to engage broad range of challenges these partner countries are facing in the region.