Turkey has rejected President Donald Trump's assertion that U.S. pressure had contributed to the release from house arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, voiced objection to Trump's comments in a tweet that the U.S. had worked "very hard" over the case of the pastor.
Altun insisted that Turkish courts were independent from government and impartial: "We would like to remind him once again that Turkey is a democratic country with the rule of law, and that Turkish courts are independent."
The official added: "No body, authority, office or person may issue orders or instructions to the courts or to judges in the exercise of their powers."
Brunson, 50, had spent two years in custody. Though he was convicted of terror charges by a Turkish court, he was released from house arrest and allowed to leave Turkey. His lawyer said he was expected to return to the United States.
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