A US citizen and former NASA researcher who had been imprisoned in Turkey was suddenly freed on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old Serkan Golge has been in Turkish custody since 2016 when he was arrested in the southern part of the country while on vacation. The attack took place in the midst of a failed coup attempt, where thousands were detained on dubious evidence as suspicions swirled in the Turkish government. Golge was sentenced to five years for terrorist acts.
Golge's wife, Kubra Golge, confirmed to the New York Times that her husband was actually released.
"I spoke to him right on the phone. He goes back to his family," she said. "He was shocked."
"He said" I am very grateful I am out of prison. I am very happy. "And I cried," added Kubra Golge.
Golge was accused of working with the American basic fethullah Gülen, as the Turkish government claimed was the main way of the failed coup attempt. The only evidence against Golge was a $ 1
Golge's release came just hours after a Wednesday phone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A read from the phone call said the two discussed bilateral issues, including trade and tariffs. Golge was not mentioned in the reading, and the White House did not confirm Washington Examiner that his case was being discussed.
Prior to his arrest, the Turkish American golfer was senior scientist at NASA, studying the effects of space radiation on humans in the international space station. He traveled from Turkey to the United States in 2003 and became citizens in 2010.
Turkey released American Pastor Andrew Brunson in October. He was also swept up in the 2016 wave of arrests in connection with the attempt at the coup. Trump had made Brunswick's freedom a top priority in discussions with Turkey.