Court sentences US consulate worker over aiding FETÖ
An Istanbul court has sentenced a local U.S. consulate employee to jail in a verdict for aiding FETÖ, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in which left 251 people got killed.
Nazmi Mete Cantürk, a Turkish security officer at the Istanbul consulate, was ordered to be jailed for five years and two months.
Cantürk has not been arrested yet by the court due to his pending appeal.
In his final defense, Cantürk has denied being a member of FETÖ and follower of its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen and said that his job required coordinating with local officials on security issues.
“Upon my manager’s orders, I met people I was asked to meet as part of my job. The people in these positions are civil servants appointed by the government,” he said.
“It is not possible for me to know if these people were involved in a crime,” he said with his voice shaking as he teared up at one point.
His wife Sevim and daughter İrem, also charged with membership of a terrorist organization, were acquitted.
They said they had initially been detained because police could not find Cantürk and were held for nine days.
They said that they were told they were not involved with the investigation but were later charged along with him.
Cantürk is the third U.S. consulate worker to be convicted.
Hamza Uluçay, who had been working as a translator at the consulate in Adana for 36 years, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison on terrorism charges.
Metin Topuz, a fixer for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at the consulate in Istanbul, was sentenced in June to nearly nine years in jail for aiding FETÖ.
Turkey accuses FETÖ to be behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.