Wife, daughter of US Consulate staff member released on probation

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The building of the Consulate General of United States in the Istinye district of İstanbul, Turkey (Sebnem Coskun / Anadolu Agency)

The wife and the daughter of a US Consulate staff member for whom Turkish authorities issued a detention warrant on Oct. 8 over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement were released on judicial probation on Monday, Milliyet reported.

Wife S.C., daughter K.İ.C  and son K.İ.C. of Consulate staff member N.M.C. were detained on Oct. 9-10 while N.M.C. has reportedly remained in the consulate building in İstanbul.

Milliyet provided no details of legal proceedings against the son.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a detention warrant for N.M.C., who works in a consulate department handling issues with Turkish law enforcement. The police were unable to detain him because he is said to be sheltering in the consulate building.

According to the report, his wife opened a bank account at Bank Asya, which was seized in 2015 by the Turkish government over links to the Gülen movement after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan publicly targeted it.

İstanbul Consulate General staff member Metin Topuz was arrested late on Oct. 4 on espionage charges and alleged links to some leading members of the Gülen movement.

Speaking to a group of journalists in İstanbul on Friday, John Bass, the departing US ambassador to Turkey, said some in the Turkish government were motivated by “vengeance rather than justice,” voicing concern at coverage in pro-government media outlets of the arrest of Topuz.

The US Embassy in Ankara on Oct. 8 announced that it had suspended all non-immigrant visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

Hours after the release of the statement, the Turkish Embassy in Washington announced that it had suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all Turkish diplomatic missions in the US.

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