Turkey issues warrant for U.S. academic over coup charges

Turkey has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. academic Henri Barkey on charges of being one of the organisers of last year’s failed coup attempt.

Barkey, who was attending a two-day workshop on the international relations of Iran at Istanbul’s Büyükada island at the time of the coup, is accused of working for the CIA to bring down the Turkish government.

There were 42 academics and think tank employees participating in the workshop, including Şaban Kardaş, the recently-arrested head of the Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM).

Barkey had addressed the claims – then just attacks in the Turkish press – in an article last year:

The accusations leveled at me and the other participants in our workshop — in the absence of any evidence — are cynical attempts to blame Washington and bully the United States.

Pro-government broadcaster A Haber, however, said that new evidence from the investigation of U.S. Consulate employee Metin Topuz and key civil society figure Osman Kavala showed that Barkey had held similar meetings at the time of other “dark processes”, or crises that had hit Turkey’s government.

Barkey was born in Istanbul and raised in Izmir, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. At the time of the meeting he was the Middle East director of the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

His official biography describes his role working for the U.S. government between 1998 and 2000 as “a member of the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff working primarily on issues related to the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, and intelligence.”