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Turkey arrests Gulen ‘financier’ in Sudan sting

Monday 27/November/2017 - 07:15 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Mohsen
Turkish intelligence has nabbed one of Turkey’s most-wanted men in connection to last July’s botched coup attempt during an oversees operation in Sudan and flew him to Istanbul on Monday، state-run media reported.

Memduh Cikmaz، considered the primary banker of the Fethullah Gulen movement، was brought to Istanbul in the early hours of Monday morning after a two-month long sting jointly conducted by Turkey’s intelligence agency MIT and Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service NISS، Anadolu Agency reported.

Gulen، a US-based Turkish preacher، and his followers are accused by Turkish authorities of orchestrating last July’s coup attempt during which at least 250 people died.

The Turkish government lists the Gulen movement as a terrorist group and calls it the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).

Cikmaz is believed to have fled to Sudan in January 2016 after Gulen allegedly instructed his followers to leave the country. He is accused of funnelling millions of dollars to the Gulenist movement from his base in Sudan.

A special MIT unit assigned to tracking down Gulenists worldwide is believed to have located Cikmaz in Sudan two months ago and initiated a joint sting with its Sudanese counterpart.

An arrest warrant for Cikmaz was issued in 2016 for alleged “managing an armed terrorist organisation”. Cikmaz operated under the codename “Osur” - which means 'Mr Ten Percent' in Turkish - in his hometown of Corum and collected “ransom payments” from the public on behalf of the Gulenists، AA quoted security officials as saying.

He also owned several petrol stations and a brick factory in Corum. Since the coup attempt، the state has seized most of the assets which belonged to Gulenists.

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