Istanbul court arrests child abuser US deportee over FETO charges
An Istanbul court on Nov. 20 ordered the arrest of a former executive of a FETÖ-linked foundation in the U.S.
Mehmet Salih Gözegir was deported from the U.S. on Nov. 15 after he was found guilty of child sexual abuse. Gözegir arrived at Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul from Houston under security escort and was later referred to the police headquarters in the city.
The Istanbul court on Nov. 20 remanded Gözegir in custody over “founding an armed terror group and managing it.”
According to the prosecutor, Gözegir confessed to meeting İsmail Büyükçelebi, who is seen as the potential successor to Fethullah Gülen, state-run Anadolu Agency has said.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Gülen are widely believed to have orchestrated the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Gözegir was one of the board members of the Raindrop Foundation — one of the umbrella organizations of FETÖ in the U.S. — in 2014. He was detained following a police raid in 2015.
Gözegir, who was in the U.S. for his medical education, was released on a $50,000 bail pending trial.
He was expelled from board membership in the foundation and his deportation was decided in June 2018.
The Raindrop Foundation has been operating as the umbrella institution uniting many schools and foundations belonging to FETÖ.