Turkish prosecutors preparing charges for US consulate employee tied to cleric

Turkish prosecutors preparing charges for US consulate employee tied to cleric
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Prosecutors in Turkey have brought an indictment against an employee at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul alleging he is linked to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, the Associated Press reported.

The employee, Metin Topuz, was originally arrested in 2017 over those accusations. The indictment charges Topuz with espionage.

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Turkey has accused Gülen, the cleric, of orchestrating a failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016. Turkey has sought the extradition of Gülen, who lives in the U.S.

The indictment for Topuz states that he was close with police who are suspected of having links to Gülen.

A prosecutor called Topuz's contact with police a “reflexive acknowledgment of his crimes” and said the communication with police was “beyond the limits of consular work," according to the AP.

The indictment reportedly lists Erdoğan and former ministers as complainants.

A judge in Turkey will now decide whether Topuz's case should move to trial.