Turkey is taking its deteriorating diplomatic relations with the US to a whole new level now that it has issued a warrant of arrest for a former CIA official named Graham Fuller over his alleged involvement in the failed military coup attempt 15 July 2016.
According to the warrant, Mr Fuller is accused of “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey and obstructing the duties of the Republic of Turkey,” ”obtaining state information that must be kept secret for political and military espionage purposes,” and “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.”
Mr Graham Fuller, the former vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council of the CIA, is accused of being present at a meeting on Istanbul’s Büyükada island between July 15 and July 16, 2016, where the accused military plotted together against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In 2006 Fuller wrote a letter supporting the US green card application of Fethullah Gülen, who Turkey considers the coup's mastermind. Mr Gülen has residence in the US and Turkey has many times already asked for his extradition, which US authorities have so far refused at all times.
Ever since the coup attempt, Erdogan’s government cracked down on political opposition very hard. Well over 50,000 people have been arrested in Turkey pending trial over links to Mr Gulen. Furthermore, 150,000 people have been fired or suspended from their jobs in the public and private sectors.
In September of this year, at the UN meetings in New York, President Donald Trump stated he was pleased to have a “personal relationship” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and added US, and Turkey were “as close as we have ever been.”
President Erdogan gladly returned the favor, speaking at his press conference of
“My dear friend Donald.”
But ever since a diplomatic attaché at the US embassy in Turkey was arrested, things have deteriorated quickly in the past months.