Turkey issues arrest warrant for ex-CIA officer over July 2016 coup

Turkey issued an arrest warrant for a former officer with the US Central Intelligence Agency on Friday over his alleged links to last year’s attempted coup in the country.

Prosecutors in Ankara accuse Graham E. Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, of violating Turkey’s constitution, attempting to overthrow the government and obtaining confidential government documents for espionage purposes, according to state news agency Anadolu.

The Turkish government has blamed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the attempted uprising in July 2016.

Gulen, 76, who vehemently denies any involvement in the plot, has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999 and runs a lucrative network of charter schools.

As part of the same investigation, in October, warrants were also issued for US-based academic Henri Barkey and former opposition lawmaker Aykan Erdemir, who are currently living in Washington.

The CIA declined to comment on the arrest warrant when contacted by CNN.

In the last several months, Turkish courts have held multiple mass trials in addition to conducting a far-reaching purge of public institutions.

Turkish authorities have detained around 150,000 people since the failed coup, according to Anadolu — around a third of whom have since been released. Another third have been released with judicial controls placed on them.

The attempted overthrow and the government’s ensuing crackdown on the media, the political opposition, academics and security forces have sown division in the country.