Hasan Aksoy, a Turkish man whose wife, Sena Aksoy, is among those were killed after a boat carrying Turkish asylum seekers capsized in the Aegean Sea on Sunday, has been taken into custody over his alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, the Kronos news portal reported.
Mr Aksoy was reportedly dismissed from his job with a government decree issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He has long been sought by police over his link to the Gülen group, which is accused of masterminding the failed attempt.
The group denies any involvement.
Turkish media reported that the boat was carrying 16 people when it departed Turkish coasts for the Greek island of Lesbos. Two women, Sena Aksoy, Sümeyye Avcı; three children, Y.B.A., B.Y., N.Y.; and another person, G.Y., were reported dead while a man, believed to be one of two organizers of the trip, went missing after their boat capsized off the shores of Ayvalik, Turkey. The remaining 9 were rescued by Turkish coastal guards.
State-run Anadolu news agency said the passengers of the boat are believed to be suspected members of the Gulen movement fleeing the country to Lesbos. Dogan news agency said the group includes a teacher, a doctor, and a jewelry store owner.
Mayor denies funeral vehicle to 3 babies killed in the Aegean Sea
Meanwhile, the three children that were killed in the boat tragedy were denied funeral vehicle, according to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu.
“The three refugees at the forensic science hospital, identified as Gokhan Yeni, Burhan Yeni and Nurbanu Yeni, were denied funeral vehicle. I phoned up to the funeral director who told me that Bursa mayor said: ‘No vehicle to be assigned for FETO members’,” Gergerlioglu tweeted.
“This is a scandal and a disgrace. This is inhumane..!” he added.
Turkish government accuses Gulen followers of masterminding the failed coup and calls them FETO, short for the alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization. The group denies terrorist activities.