Dec 16 2017

Turkey investigating FBI for “illegal actions”

Turkey is investigating U.S. intelligence agents in the country for possible wrongdoings, Islamist newspaper Yeni Şafak said in an unsourced report.

The move was prompted by the revelation that the police witness in the U.S. trial of Turkish banking executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who is accused of undermining U.S. sanctions on Iran, received payments from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Former police commissioner Hüseyin Korkmaz testified at a New York court that the FBI had given him $50,000 to help him with financial difficulties once he had escaped to the United States on a false passport. The Turkish government say Korkmaz is linked to the followers of exile preacher Fethullah Gülen, the group accused in Turkey of carrying out last year’s failed coup.

Turkey subsequently began an investigation into around 30 U.S. intelligence agents in the country, Yeni Şafak said, and would put on trial, deport and ban for life any that had links to Gülen’s movement. Title of the piece, Yeni Safak selected, is "FBI will leave this country" meaning Turkey.

If FBI agents were found to have broken any laws, it added, the FBI would be thrown out of Turkey and not allowed to carry out any further activities.