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Turkish Court Jails US Consulate Staffer: State Media

A Turkish U.S. consulate employee was sentenced to over five years in prison in Turkey on Tuesday on charges of "aiding an armed terror group," state news agency Anadolu reported.

ISTANBUL (AFP) — A Turkish U.S. consulate employee was sentenced to over five years in prison in Turkey on Tuesday on charges of "aiding an armed terror group," state news agency Anadolu reported.

Nazmi Mete Canturk, a Turkish citizen who worked at the Istanbul consulate as a security officer, was jailed for five years, two months and 15 days on charges of "aiding" a movement blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed 2016 coup, the agency said.

Another employee, Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen who worked as a liaison officer for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Istanbul, was sentenced to nearly nine years on the same charge in June.

Canturk and Topuz were suspected of links to U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and his movement which Ankara has proscribed as a "terrorist" organization.

Both men denied the charges during their trials.

The men's detention strained relations between NATO allies Ankara and Washington, which were already tense over multiple issues including the United States' failure to extradite Gulen to Turkey.

Gulen vehemently denies any link to the attempted putsch.

© Agence France-Presse

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