Arrested US Istanbul Consulate staff member to meet lawyer on Oct 13
U.S. Istanbul Consulate staff member Metin Topuz, whose arrest has prompted the worst diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the U.S. in years, will meet his lawyer on Oct. 13, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül has said.
“Until yesterday [Oct. 11] there was no application issued to the prosecutor’s office [by Topuz]. But he made a request saying ‘I want to meet my lawyer’ yesterday and it was immediately conveyed that this was technically ready. As a result of the application made yesterday, he said he will meet [his lawyer] on Friday [Oct. 13],” Gül told reporters in Ankara.
Topuz was arrested late on Oct. 4 on espionage charges and alleged links with leading members of the Gülen network, accused of being behind Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt.
His arrest led Washington to suspend all non-immigrant visa services at diplomatic facilities in the country, which was immediately followed by a reciprocal move by the Turkish Embassy in Washington to suspend visa applications from the U.S.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ refuted claims that Topuz had not been allowed to meet with his lawyer since his detention, saying he testified at both police station and the prosecutor’s office in the presence of his lawyer.
“I think there is a lack of knowledge on the issue on the U.S. side. His lawyers can meet him whenever he wants and there is no legal obstacle on that,” Bozdağ said, adding that authorities had not previously received a meeting demand from his lawyer and family members.