A Turkish Rear Admiral posted in a NATO Norfolk, Virginia has requested asylum to the United States.
Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu was in NATO’s Allied Command Transformation headquarters in the US on July 15, during the failed coup; 26 Turkish officers were in Virginia at the time.
Ugurlu was appointed as an Assistant Chief of Staff for Command and Control, Deployability, and Sustainability in Warsaw’s NATO Summit.
Ugurlu disappeared on July 22nd when a detention order was issued for his arrest. He resurged later on requesting asylum. He had left his ID at the base. An Izmir prosecutor, Okan Bato, is accusing Ugurlu of military espionage.
The asylum application comes at a critical juncture when the Washington is being asked to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the coup. Gulen denies his accusations and his legal team says Turkey has failed to provide evidence of his involvement.
Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag threatened Washington on Tuesday that if Gulen is not extradited Turkey will have been sacrificed Turkey for “a terrorist.”
While President Erdogan was in Moscow on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned the European Union that it “failed the test following the coup attempt.”
(Anadolu, BBC, DW)