US pastor detained in Turkey may soon be released

WASHINGTON (AP) — An American pastor may soon be released after two years of captivity in Turkey.

A person involved in efforts to free Andrew Brunson say the 50-year-old evangelical pastor from North Carolina could be freed at his next court appearance on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because officials had not yet reached a final agreement on the release and it could still fall through.

Brunson was among thousands of people arrested in Turkey in police sweeps following a failed July 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the U.S. is hopeful he will soon be released.

Brunson is under house arrest but could get up to 35 years in prison if convicted on charges that his lawyers say are baseless.