Turkish court releases wife, daughter of detained US consulate employee

Tue 17 October 2017 06:25 GMT | 10:25 Local Time

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A court in Istanbul released late Monday the daughter and wife of a detained employee of the U.S. Consulate General of Istanbul, known by his initials N.M.C., due to security concerns.

The court ruled that the two be released on the condition that they do not go abroad and sign a document every week at the nearest police station, in order to show they are within Turkish territory.

It was learned that N.M.C.'s wife was questioned over a deposit she made to Bank Asya after being instructed to do so by Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), who perpetrated the July 15 coup attempt last year.

Bank Asya's banking license was canceled on July 22, 2016 – seven days after a foiled coup bid for which the FETÖ is blamed – by Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK). The banking watchdog had ruled for the complete takeover of all shares of the lender by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund in May 2015.

The lender has long been at the center of accusations that it was used by FETÖ members for money laundering. A large number of suspects in FETÖ investigations have accounts in the bank and several acknowledged that they deposited money in the bank to support the terrorist group.

Last Monday, Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant for N.M.C., a staffer working for the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul whose wife and daughter were detained by police. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said that the suspect who does not hold diplomatic immunity, was called on for testimony. His family was detained in the central province of Amasya, it added. Reports in Turkish media claimed, which Bass rejected, that the other suspect was hiding at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish national Metin Topuz, confirmed by the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul as a local employee, was also remanded in custody over terrorism charges by an Istanbul court last week. Topuz is suspected of having links to the FETÖ, according to a judicial source. Ankara says FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader, Fetullah Gülen, orchestrated the attempted coup, which killed 250 people and injured nearly 2,200.

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