A Turkish prosecutor on Tuesday sought a life sentence for a US pastor over alleged links to a failed coup attempt in 2016, Dogan news agency reported, a move that threatens to undermine efforts to mend bilateral ties.
Washington believes Andrew Brunson, who has been in jail since December 2016, is one of several Americans unjustly detained in Turkey. During a visit to Ankara last month, former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for him to be freed.
The Christian pastor from North Carolina has been living in Turkey for 23 years and running a church, according to an online petition seeking his release.
The prosecutor charged him with being an "executive" of the group that Ankara holds responsible for the failed coup, the news agency said. Turkey blames the network of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric who denies all involvement.