Report: Turkish U.S. consulate worker faces charges over Gulen links

By REUTERS
January 20, 2019 11:08
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ISTANBUL - Turkish prosecutors have prepared the charge sheet against a local employee of the US consulate who was arrested over alleged links to the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, Demiroren News Agency (DHA) reported.

Gulen is accused by Ankara of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, in which he denies all involvement.Consulate worker Metin Topuz's arrest in October 2017 added to existing tensions between the United States and Turkey, and led to a months-long suspension of bilateral visa services.

Relations between the two NATO allies have been strained over US support for Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Turkey's plan to buy a Russian missile defense system, and the US jailing of an executive at a Turkish state bank in an Iran sanctions-busting case.

Topuz is in jail along with two other local consulate employees, as is a Turkish-US national and former NASA scientist who faces terrorism charges. Washington wants all of them to be released.

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