Here are 12 outrageous accusations the Turkish court leveled against Brunson in the most absurd court case in the country’s history.
1. Brunson’s daughter sent him a video of maqluba, a traditional Arab dish of rice, meat, and vegetables cooked in a pot, which is then flipped upside down. The prosecutor argues that this is the signature dish of a terrorist organization in Turkey, consumed frequently in their safe houses, and is proof of Brunson’s link to a terrorist cell.
2. Brunson received a text message from one of his church members informing the pastor that he could not make it to worship due to diarrhea. The prosecutor fails to explain how this implicates Brunson.
3. Brunson appears in a photo with a man with a yellow, red, and green scarf. The prosecutor interprets the presence of the Kurdish national tricolor in the photo as proof of the pastor’s link to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a designated terrorist group in Turkey. He argues it “could be evaluated as involvement in illegal activity under the guise of missionary work.”
4. A secret witness reports seeing Brunson at a “brain washing activity” held in a hotel where “there were 25 Turkish college students making vows alongside the American national anthem, with their right hands on the left side of their chests.” The prosecutor presents this as an “activity against the security of our country.”
5. A secret witness accuses Brunson of publishing Bibles in the Kurdish language. The prosecutor fails to explain why this is illegal.
6. The prosecutor argues that Brunson’s “insistence to be present” in the historical Sur district of the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey’s southeast “despite the chaos in the region” leads him to infer that “the suspect fulfills duties in accordance with the goals and strategy of the illegal organization to which he is linked.”