Turkish gov’t seeks extradition of alleged coup suspect Öksüz from Germany

Coup suspect Adil Öksüz (L), MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan (C) and Turkey's autocraitc President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish government has decided to seek extradition of Adil Öksüz, who is the alleged prime suspect of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, from Germany, reported state-run Anadolu news agency on Tuesday.

According to the report, Ankara 4th High Criminal Court is seeking the extradition from Germany of Adil Öksüz. The court has asked the Justice Ministry on Tuesday to file an extradition request for Adil Öksüz, said to have applied for asylum in Germany.

Adil Öksüz was arrested in Turkey on the morning of July 16, 2016 but was subsequently released and has since disappeared. According to Turkish media, Adil Öksüz was detained near Akıncı Air Base on June 16, 2016 and he was reportedly released by Judge Köksal Çelik on July 18, 2016 with a judicial probe after giving his testimony in Ankara’s Sincan West Courthouse. The decision of Judge Çelik was objected by Prosecutor Mehmet Yılmaz on the same day. However, this objection was also rejected by another judge, Çetin Sönmez.

Çetin Sönmez, one of the judges who decided to release Adil Öksüz on July 18, 2016, was detained May 6, 2017 and arrested by a Turkish court. Judge Sönmez and other judge Köksal Çelik, who were claimed not to be the members of the Gülen movement were suspended from their duties on August 16, 2016.

Several pro-government newspapers claimed Öksüz had been seen in the German cities of Frankfurt and Ulm on February 2017. Yeni Şafak daily also reported last week that Öksüz had applied for asylum in the southern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Ankara has informed German authorities that Öksüz is one of the prime suspects in the defeated coup attempt and an international fugitive. The Turkish side has pressed German authorities to investigate the claims made in recent media reports and, if these prove true, take necessary measures to arrest Öksüz and send him to Turkey for trial. However, German Foreign Ministry sources have said they have no indication that Öksüz was in Germany.

As being unsuccessfull to catch alleged coup suspect Adil Öksüz, the government has prefered to persecute his family members, relatives and people around him. Almost all family members and relatives of Adil Öksüz, who was defined as an agent of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) by MİT’s former contr-terror chief Mehmet Eymür, have been were detained or arrested. However, he could have not been caught by Turkish security forces during the last 16 months since July 15, 2016.

Turkey’s 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.

The Turkish government claims that before the July 2016 coup attempt, Öksüz traveled to the US, where he visited Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the Gülen movement. Photographs of Öksüz and his child with Gülen at the Golden Generation Retreat and Recreation Center Pennsylvania where the Turkish scholar has been living since 1999 have appeared in the Turkish press as proof of Gülen’s personal involvement in the coup bid.

“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 last month.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempton July 15, 2016 that killed 249 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.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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