The United States can do a lot more than simply express being “deeply troubled” or its “deep disappointment.” The question is will it do more? How much is it willing to do when it comes to Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen employee who worked at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul prior to his arrest?
The State Department has 50,059 locally employed staff at 275 posts in 195 countries.
In August 2018, the Treasury Department targeted Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu with financial sanctions over the country’s refusal to release Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor who had been imprisoned by the Turkish government on charges of terrorism and espionage. In October 2018, Brunson was convicted, by Turkish authorities, on the charge of aiding terrorism, but was released from Turkish custody and returned to the United States.
The Trump administration's tepid response to U.S. consulate worker Metin Topuz's 8-year sentence sends a damaging message to those abroad working with diplomats, top Turkey experts @StevenACook and @heissenstat told me in phone interviews. 🔽 https://t.co/05NpEswXBf
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) June 11, 2020
Pompeo says US “deeply troubled” by #Turkey sentencing US consulate employee Topuz to jail & hopes for a swift overturn: “This conviction undermines confidence in Turkey’s institutions and the critical trust at the foundation of Turkish-American relations” https://t.co/7hj80Yl73D
— Hümeyra Pamuk (@humeyra_pamuk) June 11, 2020
U.S. officials observed every hearing in the trial of Metin Topuz in Istanbul, and we are deeply disappointed in today's decision. We have seen no credible evidence to support this conviction and hope it will swiftly be overturned.
— U.S. Embassy Turkey #EvdeKal #StayHome (@USEmbassyTurkey) June 11, 2020
When Turkey detained an American Christian pastor, you imposed economic sanctions on 2 top Turkish officials. They released him. Why not do the same for your employee? https://t.co/HnQlVs1ooj
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) June 11, 2020
I join with President Trump and Secretary Pompeo in calling for the immediate release of Pastor Andrew Brunson by Turkey. It is unbelievable and wrong that a @NATO ally would hold an American citizen hostage. https://t.co/0QianBY8B7
— Robert C. O'Brien (@robertcobrien) July 20, 2018
US failure to prioritize Topuz’s release "in bilateral discussions may have to do w/fact he isn’t a US citizen which sends a very chilling message to other Turkish employees at US diplomatic missions" @asliaydintasbas tells @amberinzaman https://t.co/YYKZnqve7D @AlMonitor
— Ayla Jean Yackley (@aylajean) June 11, 2020
Turkey's conviction of U.S. consulate employee Metin Topuz with no credible evidence is a grave miscarriage of justice.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) June 11, 2020
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