Turkish diplomats in Washington face probe over alleged links to FETÖ
Cansu Çamlıbel - WASHINGTON
Two diplomats and an administrative officer in the Turkish Embassy in Washington are under investigation over “suspected links to FETÖ.”
Diplomats Cem Ulusoy, the embassy’s counsellor, Celil Erdoğan, the press counsellor and spokesperson, and Erdoğan’s wife Mehtap Erdoğan, an administrative officer, were summoned to Ankara due to an ongoing investigation.
Sources in the embassy confirmed the summoning of the three personnel with an administrative decree, but did not give details about the reason. It’s not clear whether the case is peculiar to the Washington Embassy or if there is a wider operation against FETÖ remnants in other Foreign Ministry missions.
The reports that three embassy personnel were summoned due to an ongoing investigation were already echoing in Washington corridors since last month. Spokesperson Erdoğan’s absence during Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s visit to Washington last month drew attention.
Erdoğan was working with Ömer Çelik during his term as the European Union minister. Ulusoy was the consul general of Turkey in Burgas, Bulgaria between 2011 and 2013.
“It’s true that the aforementioned persons were summoned with an administrative decree before they completed their terms,” the sources in the Turkish embassy said, but refused to comment on the allegations that they were under investigation for alleged links to FETÖ, widely believed to have masterminded the bloody failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The embassy is said to have informed the U.S. Department of State about the termination of three officials’ duties.
One of the three officials summoned, ex-spokesperson Celil Erdoğan, told daily Hürriyet that he is still in the U.S.
“Under normal conditions I was supposed to return to Turkey in September, but they already summoned me. We have not been informed about the reason. We are going through a weird and tough period. Let’s hope for the best” he said.
Daily Hürriyet could not immediately reach Ulusoy for comments.