Interpol denied 646 red notice requests from Turkey since failed coup - interior ministry

International police organisation Interpol has rejected 646 red notice requests by Turkey  since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, the country’s deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı said on Wednesday, slamming the organisation for failing to cooperate with Turkey in its fight against terror.

A total of 462 of those notices, which alerts police worldwide about internationally wanted fugitives, were requested for people suspected of membership in the Gülen movement, a religious group led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating the coup. The Turkish government designates the Gülen movement a terrorist organisation.

Another 115 red notices were requested for alleged members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged three-decades-long insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey. The PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the EU and the United States.

Meanwhile, 66 of the notices requested for suspected members of the Islamic State (ISIS) to date have been granted, CNN Türk quoted Çataklı as saying.

“This shows that Interpol differentiates between terrorist organisations and leaves Turkey alone in its struggle against terror,’’ Çataklı said. 

Çataklı said that Turkey had banned 76,818 people suspected of ISIS membership from entering the country and deported another 7,643 over the same concern.   

The figures arrive as a Turkish military operation launched last month in northeast Syria targeting Kurdish forces has sparked concerns about the resurgence of ISIS.

Tens of thousands of imprisoned ISIS fighters and their families are being held in detention camps in northern Syria. U.S.-backed Kurdish forces which previously policed the camps have withdrawn from the region.

Turkey is frequently accused of using Interpol’s vast reach and lack of oversight seeking arrests of dissidents, journalists, and other perceived enemies.