Fri Oct 20 2017, 13:55:02 +03

US consulate staff in Turkey arrested for espionage

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(Istanbul-AlummahWorld-Muharram 16, 1439H) U.S. Consulate General staff in Turkey who allegedly kept in touch with Gulenist Terror Group (FETO)-linked suspects, including former prosecutor Zekeriya Oz was detained Saturday and arrested by the court Wednesday as part of an Istanbul-based investigation, reports said.

Identified with initials M.T., the suspect worked as a contact officer at the consulate general and made contacts with FETO-linked former police chiefs Yakup Saygılı, Nazmi Ardıç, Mahir Cakallı and Mehmet Akif Uner, Anadolu Agency reported.

M.T. was detained for espionage and destruction of the constitutional order, as part of the FETO probe and had phone calls with Oz on a regular basis, reports said. Zekeriya Oz, who is believed to be in Europe after he fled Turkey, faces life terms.

He is one of three men with suspected links to the FETO over allegations that they sought to overthrow the government by conducting an anti-corruption probe based on false evidence to imprison those close to the government. The anti-graft probe was followed by two operations by Gulenist police officers in December 2013, which have found the FETO's broad clout in the country. The sons of cabinet ministers and prominent business figures were rounded up in operations that sought to link the ministers to corruption. The government calls the operations a Gulenist coup attempt. Oz is accused of leading the team of three prosecutors in the disguised coup attempt.

Oz and others are accused of receiving instructions from the FETO and its followers to conduct the December 2013 operations.

Analysts in Turkey has been accusing for many years that U.S is trying to destabilize Ankara and supporting FETO and other elements against president Erdogan and the government of ruling Justice and Development Party. In general, peoples in the country increasingly expressing distrust towards Washington citing harboring of FETO leader Fetullah Gulen. Turkey, European Union and Turkey officially designated FETO a terrorist organization.