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Washington calls for the release of scientist in Turkey

September 20, 2018

ISTANBUL (AP) — The United States has called for the immediate release of a NASA scientist who was arrested in southern Turkey for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Islamic cleric the Turkish government blames for a failed 2016 coup attempt.

The U.S. State Department said in a written statement Thursday that it will continue to follow the case against Serkan Golge, insisting it “lacks credible evidence,” but welcomed a decision to reduce his sentence.

A court in southern Turkey on Wednesday cut Golge’s prison term from 7½ to 5 years and overturned his conviction for membership in a terror organization.

Golge, 36, an American citizen, was arrested at the time of the failed coup.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey are high as Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, is jailed in Turkey for alleged espionage and terrorism-related offenses.

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