US ambassador's statement on arrest of US Consulate employee 'did not fit a diplomat,' says Turkey's justice minister.
On Friday, John Bass criticized the U.S. employee’s arrest, saying it was motivated by "revenge rather than justice".
“This is not a statement fitting a diplomat,” Abdulhamit Gul told news station A Haber.
“Government employees carry out executive functions… The judiciary performs its own duties. The arrest decision was taken by the judiciary. Thus, there is no government official or institution who can order judicial institutions ‘to rule in a certain way’.”
He added: “If [Bass’s statement] is related to [Metin Topuz’s] arrest, it is a Turkish court ruling,” referring to a Turkish national employed at the U.S. Istanbul Consulate and also linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
On Sunday’s decision for all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey to suspend processing non-immigrant visa applications “to reassess the commitment of the Turkish government to the security of U.S. facilities and personnel,” Gul said that if a security concern arose the Turkish government would do whatever is necessary.
After the U.S. decision, Turkey's Washington Embassy followed suit in suspending non-immigrant visa services, saying, "Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel."
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Topuz has been linked to a number of FETO suspects, including police commissioners and former prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, a fugitive accused of attempting to overthrow the government through the use of force, added the source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.