Prosecutor demands 15 years for US consulate staffer over Gülen links: report

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Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday called for espionage charges to be dropped against a US consulate employee but still sought up to 15 years in prison over his alleged ties to the Gülen movement, AFP reported.

Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen who worked as a liaison for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the US Consulate General in İstanbul, has been jailed since October 2017.

He is accused of links to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen, who had a vast network of supporters embedded across Turkish society until he was accused by Ankara of ordering an attempted coup in July 2016.

Topuz has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying he had 3,000 meetings with officials in his 25 years with the DEA and that prosecutors had simply cherry-picked those with members of Gülen’s movement.

At the latest hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said espionage charges should be dropped but that he should still face up to 15 years in prison for membership in the movement.

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over suspected ties to Gülen and more than 100,000 people been sacked or suspended from public sector jobs. Gülen rejects the coup accusations.

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