An American scientist with The National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA was sentenced to jail in Turkey, for having link with an Islamic cleric that planned to topple Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration.
Dogan news agency reported on Friday that Serkan Golge, a dual U.S.-Turkish national, was sent to prison for seven-and-a-half years.
The U.S. State Department however condemned the verdict, saying that there are no credible evidence for which Turkish government have convicted the NASA agent.
The 37-year-old was convicted of having links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Islamic cleric.
The Turkish government blames Gulen for orchestrating the 2016 failed military coup, charges the cleric denies.
Golge was arrested shortly after the coup attempt while on a family holiday in Turkey, where he was born.
He was accused of espionage and terrorism.
U.S Interest In The Case:
.@statedeptspox: The United States is deeply concerned by the February 8 conviction without credible evidence of U.S. citizen and @NASA scientist Serkan Golge for being a member of a terror organization…We call on #Turkey’s Government to end the protracted state of emergency. pic.twitter.com/4DIDDVqKJj
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 8, 2018
State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said the U.S. government was deeply concerned about the “conviction without credible evidence” of the senior NASA researcher.
“We will continue to follow his case closely along with those of other U.S. citizens whose ongoing prosecution under the state of emergency raises serious concerns about respect for judicial independence,” Nauert said, calling for an end to the emergency law.
Golge’s alma mater, Old Dominion University in the U.S., has also backed its “outstanding” alumnus, in a statement issued in October.