A Turkish prosecutor on Tuesday presented his closing arguments in a trial involving Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul who was accused of links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), espionage and involvement in a coup attempt.
Topuz, a Turkish translator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) at the consulate, was arrested in 2017 following FETÖ’s 2016 coup attempt.
He is charged with membership in a terrorist group and the prosecutor asked for a prison term between seven and 15 years.
The closing arguments called for the acquittal of Topuz from other charges including the coup attempt and espionage during the hearing at Istanbul’s 14th High Criminal Court.
Prosecutors had earlier sought up to 35 years in prison for Topuz on charges of espionage and links to FETÖ. The indictment accuses Topuz of being in frequent contact with police chiefs and prosecutors wanted or jailed for FETÖ membership. Among those were officers who spearheaded FETÖ’s first coup attempt in December 2013 that sought to implicate people close to the government with false corruption charges.
The prosecutor said Topuz was also in contact with Zekeriya Öz, the fugitive prosecutor who was behind FETÖ’s infamous sham trials that led to the imprisonment of hundreds the terrorist group saw as a threat, on trumped-up charges.
Topuz has also been linked to Adil Öksüz, one of the fugitive masterminds of the 2016 coup attempt. Öksüz, a key FETÖ figure, was in touch with Topuz according to eyewitness accounts included in the indictment. Öksüz was allegedly a "handler" for Topuz on behalf of the terrorist group.
Another eyewitness, who also worked as an informant for the DEA, said Topuz introduced him to Öz in 2008 and tried to have him serve as a "secret witness" in the Ergenekon operations. Ergenekon was the name of a gang concocted by FETÖ-linked prosecutors and police chiefs to imprison critics of the terrorist group.