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October 12, 2018

WELL, GOOD: Turkey Is Expected to Release American Pastor on Friday.

Mr. Brunson, who has been held since 2016, is due to appear in court near the coastal town of Izmir, where a judge is expected to drop some charges and, at most, sentence him to time already served, these people said. One person said Mr. Brunson also could be released on technical grounds.

In any case, he is expected to be handed back his passport and put on a plane to the U.S., the people said—an outcome people close to him said they would consider a victory.

Officials on both sides urged caution, warning a previous deal between Turkey and the U.S. for Mr. Brunson’s release had collapsed at the last minute.

His release could help improve relations between President Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a sensitive time in bilateral relations, as Ankara is seeking Washington’s support to confront Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of a journalist in Istanbul.

I had been assured that Trump’s blustering style would make this kind of trust-building measure impossible.