A senior official from the U.S. embassy in Ankara confirmed Wednesday that they received a note from the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's office questioning phone calls originating from two Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) members who were involved in the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks case.
"We did receive the prosecutor's submission late yesterday afternoon. We are taking steps to evaluate the request, and we will consider it in line with the guidelines of the Turkey-U.S. mutual legal assistance treaty and with full respect for the legal processes and evidentiary standards required in ongoing court cases," the senior U.S. official told Daily Sabah.
On July 5, Turkish media outlets reported that the U.S. embassy in Ankara had received phone calls from FETÖ members.
Chief prosecutor İrfan Fidan in Istanbul, who has been conducting the case's investigation, told reporters on Tuesday that they discovered multiple phone calls from the suspects one day and two months after the incident and requested that the embassy officials disclose the calls' contents, adding he was still waiting for a reply.
The embassy released a statement on June 5 at 3:26 p.m., claiming that it has not received a note from the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office. Later that day, Turkish media reported the note was, in fact, delivered to the embassy.
However, the embassy clarified the situation, saying their statement for social media was prepared at 2 p.m. The statement was released at 3:26 p.m. due to further checks on the text.
According to a new indictment released by Turkish prosecutors Tuesday, two "civilians" from FETÖ, who personally oversaw the raid on the trucks belonging to Turkey's MİT in 2014, made multiple phone calls to the U.S. Embassy and to local U.S. representation just one day after the raid by FETÖ-linked troops and prosecutors.
Fidan, who drafted the indictment, said they do not know the content of the calls that were made.
The indictment says that FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen — whose extradition is sought from Washington by Ankara for multiple crimes in Turkey — ordered his followers to expose a secret operation being conducted by MİT in southern Turkey. On Jan. 19, 2014, MİT trucks bound for Syria were stopped and searched by FETÖ-linked officials. The raid in the city of Adana made headlines as FETÖ spread photos of it publicly, despite national security laws forbidding the search of the trucks.
"The U.S. Department of Justice and other American agencies remain in close contact with their Turkish counterparts in the effort to investigate last year's coup attempt and to bring the perpetrators to justice," the embassy statement said Tuesday, adding that the MİT truck case is not directly related to the coup attempt. Washington has long shied away from directly blaming FETÖ for the coup bid.