Turkish media say authorities are questioning the wife and son of a US consulate worker being sought in Istanbul by police. Ankara has also reportedly summoned a US diplomat of its NATO ally in a row over visa services.
Turkey issued an arrest warrant for another US consulate worker, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported Monday.
The family members of the worker were being questioned although Turkey’s justice ministry said it had no information about a new warrant being issued. NTV said the consulate official was still being sought by security officials.
The reports follow the arrest in Istanbul last week of a local US consulate employee, a Turkish national identified as Metin Topuz. The detention triggered a diplomatic row as US and Turkish missions each cut back visa services.
Read more: US halts visa services to Turkey
Turkish foreign ministry sources said the US mission’s second-in-charge, Philip Kosnett, had been summoned to the ministry.
Turkey demands US rethink
Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul told A Haber television on Monday that he hoped Washington would review its decision to suspend visa services to Turkish citizens wanting to visit and study in the United States.
Gul said the case against Topuz was one for the Turkish judiciary to pursue.
“Trying a Turkish citizen for a crime committed in Turkey is our right. I hope the US will revise its decision in this light,” Gul said.
Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said Topuz was accused of espionage and links to the US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen. Ankara accused Gulen of being behind a coup attempt in 2016.
The US embassy said it was “deeply disturbed” by his arrest.