(The EPConnection press release). An open letter from the U.S. Senate to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, has garnered 78 signatures from members of the Unites States Congress. The letter requests that Evangelical Presbyterian Church teaching elder Andrew Brunson, “an American citizen who has been unjustly detained in Turkey, be immediately released and deported.”
Signatories to the letter remind Erdoğan that Brunson’s imprisonment “has been raised repeatedly by U.S. Government officials with officials of the Government of Turkey. Unfortunately, high-level efforts to secure Mr. Brunson’s release have been unsuccessful. We have closely followed developments with this case, and are deeply disappointed.”
The letter was led by Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Representatives Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I continue to be very grateful for our friends on Capitol Hill,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “The letter they have drafted sends a very clear message that we want nothing less than Andrew safely back in the United States soon.”
Click here to read the full text of the letter, which is expected to be released by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to national media outlets on February 16.
Other Senators who have signed are Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ron Paul (R-Ky.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James E. Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Roger F. Wicker (R-Miss.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.);
Representatives who have signed are Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), Gerry E. Connolly (D-Va.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Garret Graves (R-La.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Thomas A. Garrett Jr. (R-Va.), George Holding (R-N.C.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), David P. Joyce (R-Ohio), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), David E. Price (D-N.C.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), Steve Russell (R-Okla.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), and David G. Valadao (R-Calif.).