World Bulletin / News Desk
Ankara has asked German authorities to find, arrest and hand over two high-profile Gulenists accused of plotting to overthrow the Turkish government.
The Turkish embassy in Berlin recently sent a diplomatic note to the German Foreign Ministry and demanded an investigation be launched on the whereabouts of former prosecutors Zekeriya Oz and Celal Kara, a senior Turkish official told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Turkey’s diplomatic move last week came after media reports that claimed the two fugitives, who fled Turkey in late 2013, were currently residing in the southern German city of Freiburg.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said Turkey had officially asked Germany to investigate the validity of these media reports, and if these would prove to be correct, immediately arrest and hand over the two suspects for prosecution in Turkey.
The two controversial figures Zekeriya Oz and Celal Kara are suspected to be senior members of the Gulenist network, also known as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), led by the US-based Fetullah Gulen.
FETO is accused of infiltrating the state institutions and organizing the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey to overthrow the democratically elected government.
Oz and Kara played a key role in a controversial anti-corruption probe in late 2013, which targeted senior political figures in Turkey. Later, they were accused of fabricating false evidence, as part of a plot to overthrow the government.
The two former prosecutors have not been seen in public since they fled Turkey in late 2015, but various media reports claimed that they were hiding in southern Germany.
Last year, German authorities told their Turkish counterparts that they had no information supporting claims that the two suspects were hiding in the country.
Germany is among the countries where Gulenists carry out significant activities through dozens of private schools, business associations, and media organizations.
Despite widespread suspicions, German authorities have been reluctant so far to curb activities of Gulenists, underlining that they would only act if they received concrete evidence suggesting that these institutions were engaged in activities that violate the constitution and laws of Germany.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Eylül 2016, 08:08