Gülen’s bankroller visited 11 countries, caught on phone talk
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
Memduh Çıkmaz, the businessman known as the “money vault” of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) who has been returned to Turkey after an intelligence operation, moved to 11 countries before being caught in Sudan, according to new information.
Çıkmaz was caught after a 30-second phone call with a number in Pennsylvania, where Fethullah Gülen is based, was detected during a technical surveillance.
Gülen is the prime suspect of Turkey’s July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Çıkmaz left Turkey six months before the coup attempt, and the countries he stayed in included Ethiopia, Brazil and Serbia, before being captured in a joint Sudanese-Turkish intelligence operation.
An official, who spoke on conditions of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) pinpointed Çıkmaz’s location two months ago.
The security official said Çıkmaz had transferred millions of dollars to FETÖ from Sudan.
Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 360 people in an operation targeting followers of Gülen within the army, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Nov. 29.
It said 333 of those facing arrest in the Istanbul-based operation were soldiers, 216 of them serving personnel.
Istanbul police officers were continuing operations to capture the suspects, it said.
Doğan News Agency said seven of those facing arrest were pilots.
Sixteen months on, operations targeting the Gülen network are continuing on a daily basis.