The outrageous phone call between the U.S. Embassy officers and Gülenist putschists in January 2014 needs to be investigated in detail by U.S. authorities
It was just a few days after last summer’s coup attempt. Adil Öksüz, a Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) member who spent the night of July 15 inside the coup plotters’ headquarters outside Ankara, had been able to escape from jail with the support of fellow Gülenists inside the Turkish state. The public was outraged as the Turkish authorities were leading a manhunt for Öksüz. It was around the same time that the Turkish media reported about an intercepted phone call between the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul and Adil Öksüz.
Issuing a written statement, the U.S. Embassy argued that they placed the call to inform Öksüz that his U.S. visa had been revoked. Needless to say, the Turkish public was not convinced. The U.S. government, which had been making up excuses to block the extradition of Fetullah Gülen to Turkey, was complicit in Öksüz’s escape, many people thought. Keeping in mind that the U.S. Consulate does not usually contact foreign nationals about revoked visas, the Turkish people had reason to find the phone call suspicious.
So much has since happened in Turkey’s fight against FETÖ that the public eventually forgot about efforts by American diplomats to contact Adil Öksüz. But it didn’t stop the U.S. government from popping up once again in the FETÖ investigations.
As Ambassador John Bass is being considered for a new job in Afghanistan by U.S. President Donald Trump, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is facing new problems – this time due to links between American diplomats and the January 2014 raid on Turkish intelligence trucks.
Here’s a quick refresher: In January 2014, a group of prosecutors and soldiers – who have since been arrested on FETÖ charges – raided trucks owned by the Turkish intelligence near the Syrian border. Shortly afterwards, it was discovered that Gülen, the organization’s U.S.-based leader, had personally authorized the raid in an effort to spread false news alleging that Turkey had links to terrorist groups in the area and force the Turkish government to resign. At the same time, the group was seeking to gain control over Turkey’s intelligence agency by toppling Hakan Fidan, the Turkish intel chief, whom the Gülenists had unsuccessfully attempted to arrest in February 2012.
So what does the U.S. Embassy have to do with all of this?