Arrested US Istanbul Consulate staff member meets with lawyers

Arrested US Istanbul Consulate staff member meets with lawyers

Arrested US Istanbul Consulate staff member meets with lawyers

U.S. Istanbul Consulate staff member Metin Topuz, whose arrest has sparked a crisis between Turkey and the U.S., met with his lawyers on Oct. 13 at a prison on the outskirts of Istanbul.

Lawyers Selman Alibaş and Halit Akalp met with their client at Istanbul’s Silivri prison in a meeting that lasted around two hours.

Following their meeting with Topuz, Akalp told reporters that they had not faced any restriction regarding the meeting with their client.

“Any kind of restriction on this issue is out of question. The meeting conditions are already obvious within the framework of legal rules and we held our meeting. We had also met with our client during the detention period within the framework of legal conditions. We do not have any problem on this matter and we held a very convenient meeting,” Akalp said.

Ahead of their meeting, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that Topuz had opportunities to access his lawyers three times since his detention on Sept. 30.

“Metin Topuz, who was arrested on charges as part of a Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ] investigation, was authorized to meet his lawyers Selman Alibaş and Halit Akalp on Sept. 30, Oct. 2, and Oct. 3,” read the statement.

The statement came one day after Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said Topuz and his lawyers were due to meet on Oct. 13, but that to date they had not requested a meeting.

Topuz’s arrest was followed on Oct. 8 by the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announcing the suspension of non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. missions in Turkey, prompting a tit-for-tat by Turkey.

A Turkish national not covered by diplomatic immunity, Topuz is accused of links to the Gülen network, accused of masterminding last year’s failed coup attempt.

He has been linked to a number of Gülenist suspects, including police commissioners and former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, a fugitive accused of attempting to overthrow the government through the use of force, according to judicial sources.

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