Turkey releases relatives of US consulate worker: Anadolu

Reuters , Monday 16 Oct 2017

Turkish authorities released the wife and daughter of a U.S. consulate worker, after the pair were detained amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Monday.

Authorities summoned the worker last week for questioning over his relatives' alleged links to last year's failed coup attempt, days after the arrest of another consulate employee triggered a mutual suspension of visa services.

Anadolu said the wife and daughter were barred from leaving the country and had to report to the nearest police station once a week as part of the terms of their release.

Their relative, identified only as N.M.C., has still not himself reported for questioning, Anadolu said, having been summoned after the wife and daughter were detained in the Black Sea city of Amasya.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused U.S. officials of sheltering him in their consulate in Istanbul.

The man's wife and daughter were detained over alleged links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, Anadolu said, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the abortive putsch.

Last Sunday, the U.S. mission in Turkey and the Turkish mission in Washington cut back visa services after another U.S. consulate employee, Metin Topuz, was arrested. Washington said charges linking him to Gulen were baseless.

The prosecutor's office had said earlier that testimony from Topuz pointed to the wife and daughter being high-ranking members of Gulen's network. Gulen has denied any role in the failed coup. 


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