Saturday 22 October 2016

US-based Turkish navy officer 'missing' after coup

Published 11/08/2016 | 10:36

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave a big flag following a failed coup (AP)
Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave a big flag following a failed coup (AP)

A Turkish naval officer working in the United States has gone missing and has failed to report back home following a failed coup by renegade officers within the Turkish military.

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The Anadolu Agency, citing an official at the Turkish embassy in Washington, says Navy Rear Admiral Mustafa Ugurlu had left his ID and badges at his base on July 22 and has not been heard from since.

Turkish officials could not confirm reports that Mr Ugurlu was seeking asylum in the United States. The US State Department said it does not comment on or handle asylum cases.

The issue could complicate US-Turkish ties. Ankara is already pressing Washington to extradite US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who it accuses of orchestrating the coup.

Mr Gulen denies involvement.


Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister says two military attaches who were based in Greece have fled the country following the coup attempt.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV television that Greek authorities had established that the navy and land forces colonels had left Greece for Italy aboard a ferry on August 6 together with their families.

He said one of the colonels had a brother in the Netherlands and that both Italy and the Netherlands had been notified.

Asked about reports that a Turkish military official based in the United States was seeking asylum there, Mr Cavusoglu said Turkey had asked for information from Washington but had not yet received a response.

He repeated, however, a Turkish demand that the United States extradite US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.


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