Adil Öksüz, a key suspect sought for his role in the July 2016 coup attempt, is being sought by German authorities, according to a report in the German media.
Since Nov. 14, 2017, Öksüz has been advertised nationwide for a so-called “residence investigation” in Germany and all police departments have been instructed to report any findings to the Federal Criminal Police Office, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Jan. 25.
The search for Öksüz began at the request of Turkish authorities. On Nov. 21, 2017, an Ankara court completed a written extradition demand for Öksüz, who had been believed to be in Germany, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
The 50-year-old has been dubbed as “the air force imam” of the Fethullah Gülen network, widely believed to have orchestrated the failed coup. “Imam” is a term used by Gülenists to mark local leadership.
Öksüz was detained on the morning of July 16, 2016 near Akıncı Air Base, used as a headquarters by coup-plotters during the attempt. Judge Çetin Sönmez ordered his release on July 18, 2016, after which he went on the run.
Judge Çetin was later dismissed from his position and arrested for his alleged links to the Gülen network.
Earlier media reports had suggested Öztürk had been spotted in Frankfurt and Ulm and had been given a temporary residence permit by Germany’s Baden-Wurttemberg state.
According to the findings of the German authorities, no entry had been registered under his real name. He also has not applied for asylum, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung report.
The German government has informed Ankara it will take any leads regarding Öksüz seriously, the report said. However, if he is captured in the country, extradition is unlikely. Instead, Öksüz might be put on trial in Germany, Süddeutsche Zeitung added.
Ankara previously sent a diplomatic note to Berlin requesting Öksüz’s extradition in August 2017.