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U.S. ambassador urges Turkey to provide clear evidence for detaining consular staff
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-11 20:53

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ANKARA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass on Wednesday demanded Turkey provide clear evidence for linking a detained consular staff to illegal activities, amid an ongoing diplomatic crisis.

"Allegations made against our local staff are very serious allegations. We want to understand the substantial charges which support these allegations," said Bass during a meeting with a small group of reporters.

He was referring to Metin Topuz, a veteran Turkish employee of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, who was detained last week for alleged link with the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for having masterminded the failed coup in July 2016.

"Unfortunately the U.S. government has still not received official communication on our detained local staff," Bass said, noting, however, that the two countries are in contact on the particular issue.

Turkey considers the Gulen network as a "terrorist organization" and suspects linked to it will face severe terrorism charges.

Bass dismissed Turkey's accusations against Topuz as "baseless."

He said Topuz, as a staff of the Drug Enforcement Agency, had remarkable achievements in cooperation with the Turkish authorities that "led a lot of narcotics off the street."

The U.S. and Turkey on Sunday mutually suspended non-immigrant visa services to each other's citizens, a move that has further soured the ties between the two NATO allies.