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Metin Topuz, Turkish American consulate employee, accused of espionage



ISTANBUL – Turkish prosecutors are seeking a death penalty for a local United States consulate staff in Istanbul accused of breaking down government and espionage.

A 78-page accusation by The Associated Press on Sunday against Turkish The national metin Topuz, imprisoned since October 2017, said he was in "very intense contact" with police officers conducting a corruption investigation in 2013 who involved the senior officials.

The Turkish government accused the American basic fethullah Gulen of trying a "court order" with this investigation and felt its network a terrorist group. Gulen is also to blame for the failed coup in 201

6, but he denies the charges.

The accused said Topuz, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency in the US Consulate in Istanbul, told authorities that he had been in contact with several police officers with alleged links to Gulen for narcotics investigations and also served as a translator and fixer.

The prosecutor said this was a "reflexive acknowledgment of his crimes" and claimed that Topus & # 39; communications with officials were "out of the scope of consular work." [19659002] The charge includes phone calls, text messages, CCTV framing with suspected police officers, along with testimony from four witnesses and two suspects.

He is also accused of violating privacy and illegally recording personal data.

A judge will decide whether the case should continue to court. Among the 30 complainants are Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former ministers.

Topuz's arrested increased tensions between the two NATO allies in 2017 and led to the suspension of bilateral visa services for more than two months.

The relationship hit the rock bottom last summer when US President Donald Trump sanctioned two Turkish officials and raised tariffs for imports of aluminum and steel, causing a major loss in the Turkish lira's value, pushing the country to release a jailed American pastor. Pastor Andrew Brunson was sentenced in October for terrorist relations, but was later allowed to leave the country.

Two other local consular staff are under investigation in Turkey. The prison translator Hamza Ulucay is accused of terrorist group membership with alleged links to illegal Kurdish militants, and the employee Mete Canturk was placed under house arrest.

The bindings have been running since, but a host of problems remain as annoying, including the United States support for Kurdish militants in Syria Turkey considers terrorists, Turkey's promise to buy Russian missile defense and monastery Gulen's continuing residence in Pennsylvania.

The Turkish government launched a massive demolition against Gulen's network after the 2016 coup and arrested more than 77,000 people and dismissed more than 130,000 public servants through decrees. Critics say the release went beyond the suspects of the coup with the arrest of journalists, lawmakers and activists.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

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