Terror suspect in Germany, protected by intelligence: report
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 18, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 18, 2017 12:00 am
The editor-in-chief of a Turkish newspaper published the address of a terror suspect he claimed lives in Germany's Freiburg and is protected by members of the German intelligence service BND.
Murat Kelkitlioğlu, editor-in-chief of Akşam newspaper, which will publish an extensive report on members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Germany on Wednesday, said in his column published the day before that, Zekeriya Öz, a prominent prosecutor wanted for links to the terrorist group, has been living in Freiburg, a city south of Germany and near the French border.
Kelkitlioğlu gave the open address of an "education center" ran by Gülenists and said Öz was staying in a house inside a complex of schools in Freiburg. Kelkitlioğlu said journalists were not allowed to come near the place and "undercover BND agents" were protecting the premises. He said Celal Kara, another prosecutor wanted for FETÖ membership, was also in Germany.
FETÖ, a terrorist group ran by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, is accused of being behind the July 15 coup attempt by a military junta. Since 2013, the group faces charges of instigating coup attempts, sham trials, illegal wiretapping, money laundering and a set of lesser charges for its efforts to imprison its critics and topple the government or at least implicate its members on trumped-up charges.
The group had widespread infiltration in law enforcement, judiciary, bureaucracy and military. Öz and Kara, who were behind high-profile trials to imprison generals, journalists, academics and other prominent figures were later found to be members of FETÖ and the duo were subsequently accused of imprisoning those people on false charges.
The two men have not been seen in public since they fled Turkey in late 2015 but Turkish media outlets have claimed that they were hiding in Freiburg.
Turkey has asked Germany to investigate the whereabouts of the two men but German authorities told their Turkish counterparts that they had no information supporting claims that the two suspects were hiding in the country.
FETÖ, which controls a large network of schools and companies across the globe, has 24 schools and more than 300 associations in Germany. Thousands of FETÖ members are believed to flee into Germany as Turkey stepped up its crackdown against the terrorist group in the past three years.
Some 35 diplomats linked to the terrorist group have applied for asylum in Germany after the July 15 coup attempt.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in November 2016 that his country did not launch an investigation into FETÖ due to the lack of evidence.
"As far as I know, there is no inquiry about the Gülen Movement's network, and there is not enough information on the issue as to whether they are an organization in Germany," Maas contended.
In September, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım warned German authorities against FETÖ establishments and said the group would pose a problem for Germany if it is not dealt with.
Turkey is seeking the extradition of FETÖ-linked suspects at large, but its efforts so far remain futile as the United States has dragged down the process for the extradition of the terrorist group's fugitive leader Fetullah Gülen and Greek courts are expected to block the extraditions of eight pro-coup soldiers, who fled to Greece in a military helicopter, later this month in a trial.