Turkey issues arrest warrant for ex-soccer star

FILE - In this Saturday, June 2, 2007, file photo Turkey's Hakan Sukur reacts during the Group C Euro 2008 qualifying soccer match against Bosnia at the Olympic stadium in Sarajevo. Turkey's state-run news agency reports Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, authorities have issued an arrest warrant for former soccer star and legislator Hakan Sukur over his alleged links to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, accused by Turkey of masterminding last month's failed coup. (AP Photo/Amel Emric, FILE)

Turkey's state-run news agency says authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of former soccer star and legislator Hakan Sukur over his links to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, accused by Turkey of masterminding last month's failed coup

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of former soccer star and legislator Hakan Sukur over his links to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, accused by Turkey of masterminding last month's failed coup, media reports said Friday.

Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister told reporters that 32 Turkish diplomats who were called back to Turkey as part of an investigation into the coup attempt had failed to return.

Turkey has launched a massive crackdown on alleged supporters of the movement led by Fethullah Gulen in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt that left more than 270 people dead, raising concerns among European nations and human rights groups.

More than 35,000 people have been detained for questioning while tens of thousands of others from government jobs, including in the judiciary, media, education, health care, military and local government. Gulen, who runs a network of worldwide charities and schools from self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, has denied any knowledge or involvement in the coup.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said an arrest warrant was issued for Sukur late Thursday, accusing him of "membership in an armed terror organization." His father Selmet Sukur was detained in the northwestern province of Sakarya on Friday, hours after a warrant was also issued against him, the agency reported. A court has also ordered that both men's assets in Turkey be seized, Anadolu said.

Sukur, who reportedly left Turkey last year, played for Inter Milan and Galatasaray and was Turkey's top goal-scorer in international competitions. He has made no secret of his affiliation to Gulen, and resigned from the ruling party in 2013 following a government rift with the movement.

During a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that of the 208 diplomatic personnel serving in foreign posts recalled following the coup, 32 had not complied and had fled to other countries.

Cavusoglu added that the ministry was in touch with the countries to which they had fled, seeking to secure their return.

Turkey has branded Gulen's movement a terror organization and wants the cleric returned to Turkey to face trial. Washington has said it would need evidence of the cleric's involvement, and says the regular extradition process must be allowed to take its course.

During Friday's press conference, Cavusoglu said that a delegation from the U.S. Department of Justice would be arriving on Aug. 22 and meet with their Turkish counterparts on the following two days to discuss the extradition request.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said the U.S. delegation would include three Justice Department experts and one from the State Department.

Germany's Foreign Ministry meanwhile, confirmed a report by the weekly Der Spiegel that a German woman who was arrested in Turkey following the coup attempt was released on Friday. It said in an emailed statement that it welcomes the release and continues to press for "the principles of the rule of law to be upheld in working through the attempted coup."

___

Associated Press writer Cinar Kiper in Istanbul and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed.

Related News

Daughter of Motown stars to Detroit students: Find your beat

Aug 11, 2016

The daughter of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and one of its biggest stars, Diana Ross, says young Detroiters should learn about their city's rich artistic legacy _ then forge their own path

Stephen Colbert, Showtime in talks for live election special

Aug 11, 2016

Showtime is in talks with Stephen Colbert to host a live election-night comedy special, the channel's chief executive says

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah each land a Showtime series

Aug 11, 2016

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will each star in their own half-hour comedy series for Showtime

You may also like these

Is NBC's prime-time Olympics due for a change?

Aug 12, 2016

For all the changes media and even Olympics coverage, NBC sticks to a time-honored formula for its prime-time broadcast

Robert De Niro compares Trump with "Taxi Driver" character

Aug 13, 2016

Robert De Niro says Donald Trump is just like the main character of the legendary 1976 movie "Taxi Driver:" the mentally disturbed Travis Bickle

Not even a crash can stop Farah over 10,000 at Olympics

Aug 14, 2016

Tripped or not, it seems nothing can stop Mo Farah over 10,000 meters in a major championship

Our trendy reporters are fashionistas who love gossips as much as you do. We don’t just report the news, but we report it uniquely so you can read with style, only in Trendy Reporter.

Contact us: sales@trendyreporter.com

Entertainment Award Shows Celebrity Fashion Shows Movies Music Television Programs Press Releases