Wife of leading coup suspect Öksüz filmed in New Jersey: State media

Wife of leading coup suspect Öksüz filmed in New Jersey: State media

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.

According to the testimony of Aynur Öksüz’s father, the woman had moved to the house of her brother, Abdulhadi Yıldırım, along with her three children a month before the coup attempt.

“My daughter, the wife of Adil Öksüz, visited my son Abdulhadi Yıldırım in the U.S. She did not come back later. I do not know the whereabouts of Adil Öksuz,” Cevat Yıldırım had said. 

Spotted at Yıldırım’s house located on Clarke Ave. in the Ridgefield district, Aynur Öksüz was seen driving a Chevrolet Cruiser.

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.

Yıldırım has also been a key player in the coup attempt in that he has provided significant financial support to the putsch from the U.S., Anadolu Agency reported.

Is Adil Öksüz hiding in Berlin?

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.

“We have gotten in touch with Germany and Germany has issued a search warrant for Adil Öksüz,” Çavuşoğlu said in southern province of Antalya.

“What Germany will do after finding [Adil Öksüz] is surrender him to us under the framework of the agreements and the law,” he added.

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.

“In light of all this information, we cannot disregard the fact that members of the Gülen network movement were engaged in the coup attempt in Turkey,” Anadolu Agency reported Adebahr as saying.

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.

On the night of the coup attempt, 250 persons were killed and more than 2,700 were injured.

Several suspects with links to the Gülen movement, including former soldiers and diplomats, have applied for asylum in a number of German federal states.