Wife of leading coup suspect Öksüz filmed in New Jersey: State media
Turkey’s state-run news agency reported on June 14 that it had filmed Aynur Öksüz, the wife of Adil Öksüz, a fugitive leading suspect behind the July 2016 coup attempt, in the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey.
The news of the footage recording on the street in the U.S. broke a day after Anadolu Agency also reported Adil Öksüz, a key figure linked to the July 2016 coup attempt whose whereabouts have been unknown since the attempted putsch, was hiding in a house in the German capital.
Öksüz’s brother-in-law seen kissing US flag: State media
On the same day, the state-run agency published a second round of footage appearing to show the suspect’s brother-in-law, Abduladi Yıldırım, “kissing the U.S. flag.”
In the footage, which has not been verified independently of Anadolu Agency, Yıldırım can be seen in front of an auto shop which the agency reported is his workplace on the River Road by the Hudson River in New Jersey’s Ridgefield district.
The man said to be Yıldırım is first seen kissing a U.S. flag in the footage before he hands it to a man, who the agency reported to also be a Turkish national, wearing a green t-shirt to presumably do the same.
Reports of Öksüz’s alleged hideout in Germany - a major topic of diplomatic exchange between Ankara and Berlin - were based on “eyewitness reports,” the agency also stated on June 13.
Following the agency’s report on June 13, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said there was “no concrete evidence” of Öksüz’s presence in Berlin yet.
Still, Germany has issued a search warrant for Öksüz, Çavuşoğlu said on June 13.
German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Adebahr told a press conference in Berlin on June 13 that the country is continuing to evaluate the Gülen network issue based on information from various sources including the German Embassy to Turkey, Turkish sources and partners.
German Interior Ministry spokesperson Eleonore Petermann also said at the same event that she had no new information on the whereabouts of Gülen.
Öksüz disappeared right after July 15, 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, a former close ally of the government.
Turkish officials have repeatedly appealed to the German government to arrest and extradite Öksüz, claiming that he was hiding in Germany, home to some three million Turkish nationals.
Last November, all German police departments were asked to inform the Federal Criminal Police Office of any findings that could help them identify the whereabouts of the suspect, Anadolu Agency reported on June 13.
Öksüz, a 51-year old theology lecturer and known as the Gülen movement’s “imam of the Air Force,” was detained near the Akıncı Air Base in the capital Ankara on the morning of July 16, 2016, only to be released by Judge Çetin Sönmez on July 18, after which he went on the run.
Several suspects with links to the Gülen movement, including former soldiers and diplomats, have applied for asylum in a number of German federal states.