Interpol Removes Turkey From Database
Interpol has removed Turkey from its database after Ankara uploaded a list of 60,000 people sought over suspected links to what Turkish prosecutors call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), daily Karar has reported.
The decision to suspend Turkey’s access to the database of sought individuals came after the July 2016 coup attempt.
According to the daily, Turkey uploaded the names of suspected members of FETÖ, widely believed to have been behind the thwarted coup, after they fled abroad.
Interpol allegedly said the issue constituted “an issue of trust.”
Access to the database has reportedly been blocked for almost a year despite protests from Turkey, which says it makes it easier for the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen to travel around Europe and the United States.
Without an Interpol notice, the sought coup attempt suspects are able to use their current passports.
The Interpol database, which includes passport information of the sought individuals, enables countries to detain suspects after their passport numbers are determined on the system. Interpol’s decision has blocked Gülenist suspects’ passport numbers to be shown on the system.
According to the Karar report, Turkish authorities told the Interpol secretary general that the names were not picked randomly, that legal investigations were being carried out regarding thousands of suspected FETÖ members, and that the names were determined after years of legal investigations.
Many Gülenist suspects fled abroad after the attempted takeover, including prosecutors Zekeriya Öz, Fikret Seçen and Celal Kara.
NATO soldiers, police officers and bureaucrats are among those sought by prosecutors in Turkey.
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