Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office issues arrest warrants for FETO fugitives listed as witnesses in Riza Sarraf case
The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for two fugitive members of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
FETO members Osman Zeki Canitez, who was a bank examiner at the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, and Aykan Erdemir, a former deputy of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), were charged with "stealing documents linked to national security".
Canitez was also accused of using ByLock, an encrypted smart phone messaging app used by FETO members before and during last year's defeated coup.
Canitez and Erdemir have been listed in a case involving Riza Sarraf, a Turkish businessman awaiting trial in the U.S.
The fugitives were allegedly involved in a so-called graft probe against top government officials on Dec. 17-25, 2013. The probe, including a large-scale raid and detention of prominent figures, aimed to overthrow Turkey’s elected government.
In a statement, the prosecutor's office said the fugitives submitted "so-called files" dated Jan. 28, 2014, from the probe in Turkey to the New York County District Attorney's Office as evidence in the Sarraf trial.
Sarraf and Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla were detained last year on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.