Jun 30 2018

New evidence shows Gülen controlled coup – Turkish authorities

Turkish authorities have sent new evidence to the United States they say proves exile cleric Fethullah Gülen was behind a July 2016 failed coup attempt and reiterated their demand for his extradition to Turkey, pro-government Türkiye newspaper said.

Forensic evidence gathered from his mobile telephone may suggest that Hakan Çiçek, a civilian follower of Fethullah Gülen who was present in the airbase that is believed to have acted as the headquarters for the coup attempt, was in touch with one of Gülen’s aides through several types of messaging software and transmitting orders to the coup leaders, Türkiye said.

The identity of the aide, who was stored in Çiçek’s phone under the codename Eczacı Abdi – or Abdi the Pharmacist – has not been made public, although authorities say they know who he is.

The month before the coup, Çiçek messaged Abdi the Pharmacist while in the United States and asked for a meeting. Turkish authorities say that Çiçek met Gülen that day.

Turkish authorities have long been searching for a smoking gun to link Gülen to the coup attempt, and these messages, if they can verifiably be linked back to Gülen, may be the key.

It may appear strange to U.S. authorities, however, that it took almost two years in the wake of the coup attempt for Turkish authorities to carry out proper checks on the mobile phones of some of the top five coup suspects.

There was now no doubt remaining that Gülen was guilty, Turkey’s International Law and Foreign Relations Directorate said in a letter to the U.S. Justice Department, and he should be extradited to Turkey as soon as possible.