Jun 13 2018

Coup ringleader Öksüz spotted in Germany - Turkish state news agency

A man Turkey accuses of organising the 2016 military coup attempt has been spotted in Germany, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.

There is proof that Adil Öksüz, a senior figure within the Gülen movement, has stayed in a flat in central Berlin, the agency said.

Öksüz, a theology professor, was captured trying to flee the Akıncı military base near Ankara after the coup plot had collapsed. Fighter pilots backing the coup had taken off from the base to bomb targets in the capital, killing dozens of people. But one of two judges who ruled for his release that morning later admitted to being a Gülen follower, released Öksüz and he has not been seen since.

Reclusive U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen was once a close ally of Turkey’s Islamist government, but the two sides fell out with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accusing the movement of attempting to create a parallel structure within the state and Gülenist prosecutors bringing corruption charges against cabinet ministers and their relatives.

Turkish officials have repeatedly appealed to German authorities to arrest and extradite Öksüz following numerous tip-offs, Anadolu agency said.

Germany is home to more than 3 million people of Turkish backgrounds. German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle said that between the year of the coup, 2016, and early March 2018, 15,654 people from Turkey had sought asylum in Germany.