US consulate employee ‘under house arrest’ in Turkey since January: State media
An employee at the United States' Istanbul consulate, Nazmi Mete Cantürk, turned himself in to Turkish authorities on Jan. 31 and has been under house arrest ever since, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 10.
Cantürk's name had come up in the midst of a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Turkey back in 2017.
The employee was reported to have been summoned to give his testimony by the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office in a case involving Metin Topuz, another consulate worker accused of espionage by the Turkish state.
The most recent report revealed that Cantürk, who was reported to have been missing at the time, turned himself in late January.
Reports back in 2017 also said his wife and child were detained Oct. 9 in the Black Sea province of Amasya for suspected links to the Gülen network, accused of being behind last year’s failed coup attempt. The two were then transferred to Istanbul.
An Istanbul court released the wife and daughter of Cantürk after questioning them over alleged links to the Gülen network, a judicial source had said on Oct. 16.
The judge released the wife and child on condition they do not travel abroad and with an obligation that they provide their signatures at a police station every week, said the source.
Topuz was detained on Sept. 25 and arrested on Oct. 4 on espionage charges, prompting a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Ankara.
Topuz was also charged with having alleged links with leading members of the Gülen network.
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.
The months-long visa row between Turkey and the United States ended only on Dec. 27 as both countries announced that they would resume full capacity visa proceedings for each other’s citizens.