Arrested US consulate staffer Metin Topuz gives additional testimony
Metin Topuz, an employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul who had been arrested over his alleged links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), gave an additional testimony on Nov. 30, showing his communications with leading Gülenist figures.
Topuz was arrested in October, sparking a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the U.S.
In his testimony, he said that he went to the U.S. in 2012 with former Istanbul Deputy Branch Director for Combating Financial Crime Yasin Topçu, former police chief Yakup Saygılı and former bureau chief İbrahim Şener.
The three are suspected of being involved in carrying out the Dec. 17-25, 2013 graft probe against top Turkish government officials.
While in the U.S., Topuz arranged several meetings for Topçu, Saygılı and Şener with U.S. authorities, which included top U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials as well as U.S. attorneys, according to judicial sources.
The Bureau of Terror and Organized Crime of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office requested additional testimony from Topuz after learning of his connections with Zekeriya Öz, a former prosecutor and a key Gülenist suspect, currently on the run, accused of attempting to overthrow the government through the use of force.
The initial statement sent by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Criminal Court said Topuz was charged with “attempting to eliminate the constitutional order,” “espionage” and “attempting to overthrow the government of Turkey.”