US consulate staffer remanded in custody

US consulate staffer remanded in custody

US consulate staffer remanded in custody

A court in Istanbul rejected an appeal on June 28 to free a U.S. Consulate staffer on bail during his trial on charges of espionage.

Prosecutors argued that Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen and liaison for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), must remain in custody in Istanbul because he is a flight risk. His next hearing is set for Sept. 18.

Topuz was arrested in 2017 and accused of contacts with police officers allegedly link with FETÖ. A prosecutor suspected him also having ties to FETÖ, deemed by Turkish authorities as a terrorist group behind the defeated coup attempt in 2016.

“All my contacts with those in high-ranking positions of the state at the time were entirely part of my work as a translator and assistant liaison officer at the DEA. I am innocent,” Topuz said during his last court appearance in May.     

Topuz faces a separate investigation on charges of seeking to “overthrow the constitutional order.”

Another U.S. consulate employee, Turkish national Mete Cantürk, was released from house arrest earlier this week.