32 diplomats fail to return to Turkey following recall

Foreign minister says staff fled to other countries after July 15 failed coup

32 diplomats fail to return to Turkey following recall

World Bulletin / News Desk

Dozens of diplomats have failed to answer recalls to Turkey in the wake of the July 15 defeated coup, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Since the coup bid, the government has arrested or suspended tens of thousands of public employees suspected of links to the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO), which is accused of trying to overthrow the government.

Cavusoglu revealed at a news conference in Ankara that 208 Foreign Ministry staff had been recalled from posts around the world and 32 had failed to return “without permission”.

Speaking alongside his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, Cavusoglu said two personnel based in Bangladesh had fled to the U.S. The remaining 30 had gone to a number of different countries, he added.

“Some of them escaped by sea, some of them escaped by air,” he said. “Some of them we have not confirmed their whereabouts. We will locate them shortly.”

The figure does not include two military attaches who left Athens for Italy last week.

As part of the investigation into FETO, two ambassador-level diplomats -- Gurcan Balik and Tuncay Babali -- have been suspended.

Cavusoglu said a delegation from the U.S. Justice Department would visit Turkey on Aug. 23-24 to discuss the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based cleric accused of leading FETO and the coup plotters.

In a separate briefing, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said “four specialists” would make up the delegation.

“Of those, three are from [the U.S.] Department of Justice and one is from the State Department… Extradition of Fetullah Gulen is not just an issue for Turkey or the U.S., but an issue the world is closely watching out for," Bozdag said.

Cavusoglu, during the news conference, added that Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were also due to arrive in Turkey but the dates were yet to be confirmed.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ağustos 2016, 15:06