A Turkish newspaper reported that Metin İşeri, a former deputy mayor of Istanbul's Eyüp district who is suspected of using funds from the municipality budget to cover the expenses of U.S. senators in a trip to Istanbul sponsored by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
İşeri, who was recently detained for using Bylock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used by FETÖ members, is accused of acting as the group's point man for FETÖ infiltrators in the judiciary.
A report in Yeni Şafak newspaper says that investigators were looking into İşeri's financial transactions during his tenure in the municipality between 2009 and 2014.
The suspect was among organizers of an "inter-cultural dialogue" trip of U.S. senators sponsored by a U.S.-based non-profit organization linked to the terrorist group.
In the trip in 2010, İşeri hosted American politicians J. Chap Petersen, James M. Scott, Harvey B. Morgan and Betsy B. Carr during the Eyüp leg of their trip.
In 2012, a larger delegation of senators, representatives and their families were hosted by İşeri, including Reginald Tate, LaShun Chevelle Pollard, Harry Ray Brooks, Joseph Earl Armstrong, Gary Lee Odom, Dean Patrick Rice, and Joshua Glenn Evans.
FETÖ's interest in U.S. politicians through providing funds or sponsoring their trips is not something new. American media outlets published investigative reports prior to the U.S. elections last year showing that FETÖ members donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and to her family's charity.