Germany has not replied to Turkey over coup suspect, minister says

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Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül has said Germany has not replied to Turkey over whether the prime suspect in Turkey’s attempted coup last year, Adil Öksüz, is in Germany, the Birgün daily reported on Thursday.

Upon receiving a question about media claims that Öksüz was in Germany, Gül said: “No response has come from Germany about that. We are also waiting for the necessary steps, which are the requirements of international law, to be taken. They did not get back to us about this.”

Turkey recently sent a diplomatic note to Germany asking for confirmation of whether media reports claiming that Öksüz was in Germany are accurate and to return him to Turkey in the event he is found there.

The pro-government Yeni Şafak daily claimed that Öksüz, the prime civilian suspect in the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, received temporary residence in Germany.

The diplomatic note sent to Germany said Öksüz was seen in various German cities as reported in the Turkish media and asked Germany whether they had any information about it.

While German Foreign Ministry sources had previously said they had no information concerning the whereabouts of Öksüz, Turkey asked Germany to apprehend and return Öksüz, who is a key coup suspect, in case he is found in Germany.

According to Turkey’s pro-government daily reports, Öksüz, who was detained on the night of the coup and later released by a court, was taken to Germany by two people. He was seen in Frankfurt and Ulm and requested temporary residence in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The daily claims that German police approved Öksüz’s application but did not officially register his name.

The report came three days after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Öksüz was working for the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), asking the government to clarify questions concerning the coup attempt.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ recently asked the US officials to expose documents relating to Öksüz, who received a phone call from a US Consulate registered number six days after the coup.

“The phone call made from the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul is to Öksüz’s phone number, which he is actively using. There are two numbers registered in his name, however, the U.S. Consulate calls him from the number he is actively using. The question is, how does the U.S. Consulate know this is his active number?” Bozdağ said.

US officials said it was a routine call about his visa application.

“It is interesting that the last number to call this phone is the U.S. Consulate. There are no other calls. Does he have a visa application to the consulate? If there is [an application], then there should be phone numbers he declared in the application,” Bozdağ said.

The Turkish government claims that before the July 2016 coup attempt, Öksüz traveled to the US, where he visited Fethullah Gülen, who has inspired the Gülen movement.

“When you consider Adil Öksüz, they found him somewhere, I don’t remember where it was, and then they released him, and then there turned out be a tie between him and Turkish intelligence,” Gülen said in an interview with France24 in July.

The Turkish government accuses the faith-based Gülen movement of mounting the botched coup attempt while Gülen denies any involvement.

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