A 37-year-old businessman, named Yavuz Bulbul took refuge at Austrian police after officers at the Turkish consulate general in Vienna attempted to seize his passport over links to the Gulen movement.

According to Turkish and Austrian sources, Bulbul, on Tuesday, stopped by the consulate to extend his passport, to be expired soon. However, the consulate officers seized his passport over Bulbul’s links to the Gulenists.

Two days after the incident, Bulbul revisited the consulate building asking for a formal letter to indicate refusal of service on Thursday. While this request was also turned down, Bulbul saw his passport on the officer’s desk, which he later grabbed and run away.

The businessman rushed to the Austrian police officer guarding the consulate building and told him/her that the consulate wanted to illegally seize his passport.

The police detained him while consulate officers chasing him to the outside of the building filed complained against him on accusation of assault.

The prosecutor in charge ruled dismissal of the charges and freed the businessman.

Bulbul is reported to go back to Korea where he has been living for 15 years using his almost-seized passport.

Turkish government accuses the Gulen movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 failed coup while the latter denies involvement.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in December, 2017 that 55,665 people were jailed and 234,419 passports were revoked over Gulen links since the failed coup attempt.

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