May 18 2019

Turkey accuses Washington of attempting to influence U.S. consulate staffer’s trial

Turkey said the United States’ attempts to influence judicial process were not helpful, referring a statement by Washington in relation to the trial of a U.S. consulate staffer accused of spying and attempting to overthrow Turkish government, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday. 

A Turkish court rejected Metin Topuz’s release at a hearing on Wednesday during which Topuz, a Turkish citizen and Istanbul-based liaison with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, denied the charges against him. 

Arrested in 2017, Topuz is accused of ties to Gülen movement, which Turkey blames for orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016 and designated as a terrorist organisation.

The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a tweet that the United States was disappointed by the result of the hearing. 

“We have seen no credible evidence of any wrongdoing, yet @ABDIstanbul employee Metin Topuz remains in prison. We again urge Turkish authorities to resolve this matter swiftly, transparently, and fairly,” Ortagus said. 

The Turkish Embassy in Washington responded Ortagus’ comments on Twitter. "Turkey is a democratic state governed by the rule of law. Everyone must respect the decisions of the independent courts. Attempts aiming at influencing due judicial process are not helpful," it said.