A Turkish diplomat couple disappears in Greek city of Thessaloniki

A Turkish diplomat couple working in Greece has disappeared, state-run Anadolu news agency reported by basing on an anonymous diplomatic source on Saturday by labeling them as alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to the report, since Tuesday Turkish authorities have not been able to reach the couple, Muhammet T. and Ceyda T. who have been working at Turkey’s consulate general in Greek city of Thessaloniki for the last 18 months as deputy consuls. The report also claimed that the couple, whose passports have been canceled, had left Greece and their whereabouts are unknown.

Turkish government has so far detained 120,000 people and arrested some 50,000 over the faintest alleged links to the Gülen movement. Gülen, himself, have had his several relatives jailed so far. Critics often blast the government for a massive purge it is carrying out that violates the principle of individual criminal responsibility.

The military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

May 6, 2017

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