HomeNewsU.S. consulate worker in Turkey faces jail over terrorism allegations

U.S. consulate worker in Turkey faces jail over terrorism allegations

An Istanbul prosecutor is seeking up to 15 years in jail for a Turkish employee at the U.S. consulate on terrorism-related charges, state news agency Anadolu reported on Friday.

The prosecutor demanded between seven-and-a-half and 15 years in jail for security officer Nazmi Mete Canturk over his alleged ties to U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Report says Ankara considers Gulen’s movement to be a terrorist organisation and blames him for orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016.

However, President Recep Erdogan’s ally-turned-foe denies the charges.

“The prosecutor accused Canturk of frequent contact with police chiefs who are also accused of Gulen links,’’ the report said.

The court ruled that Canturk’s wife and daughter, who were also accused of Gulen ties, were acquitted over lack of evidence.

It was not immediately clear when the next hearing will take place.

“Consul General Daria Darnell joined Canturk and his family at the hearing on Friday,’’ Anadolu said.

The targeting of U.S. diplomatic mission employees and citizens has long been a cause of tensions between Ankara and Washington.

According to Anadolu, in June, an Istanbul court sentenced Metin Topuz, who worked as a liaison officer at the U.S. Istanbul consulate, to eight years and nine months in jail for helping Gulen’s “armed terrorist organisation’’.

The U.S. embassy in Ankara protested the ruling as “disappointing,” denying charges against Topuz.

Topuz has been jailed since October 2017.

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