Ankara removes envoy to London from office over leak in media tycoon Akın İpek case

Ankara on Wednesday removed from duty the legal attaché of the London embassy following an investigation after information added by the diplomat to the Turkish request to extradite a media boss from Britain was leaked on social media, the pro-government NTV news reported.

Abdullah Murat was removed from duty after sending an unofficial information note on the case to the British prosecutor over Whatsapp, it said.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry compiled an 87-page request to extradite newspaper and television proprietor Akın İpek, charged with membership of the Gülen movement and providing financial support to the shadowy Islamist sect that Ankara holds responsible for the 2016 failed coup attempt. The diplomat added more information to the request and that part later appeared on social media.

A British court last week rejected the Turkish request to extradite İpek as politically motivated and said the 54-year-old businessman was unlikely to receive a fair trial in Turkey. İpek does not deny his affiliation to the Gülen movement, but denies giving it any financial support.

The Turkish government is expected to appeal the verdict in a higher British court.