BERLIN (AA) - German police are actively searching for a chief suspect wanted by Turkey for his role in a coup attempt in 2016, local media reported on Thursday.
Police across the country have been looking for Adil Oksuz, a theology lecturer accused of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, the Suddeutsche Zeitung daily, public television channels WDR and NDR reported.
According to the reports, all police departments were asked on Nov. 14, 2017, to inform the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on any findings that could help identify the whereabouts of the chief coup suspect.
But German authorities could not find any evidence so far supporting the claims that Oksuz was in the country, or applied for asylum in Germany.
Ankara had issued a diplomatic note to Berlin last year, after Turkish media reports claimed Oksuz was seen in Germany, asking whether these claims were true.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung commented that the German government's decision to actively search for a chief coup suspect was “a sign of goodwill” towards Turkey, showing that Berlin was eager to improve ties with Ankara.
Turkey has long pressured Germany to take active measures against supporters and members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which orchestrated the coup attempt.
But German authorities had been reluctant in addressing Ankara’s concerns and has not transferred any FETO suspect so far toTurkey for trial, arguing that the Turkish side had not yet provided sufficient evidence.
In Germany, which is home to more than three million Turkish immigrants, FETO has a large network with dozens of private schools, businesses and media organizations.
Since the 2016 defeated coup attempt, nearly 4,000 FETO suspects have come to Germany from Turkey and other countries, according to local media reports.
Several FETO suspects, including former soldiers and diplomats, have applied for asylum in various German federal states.
The Turkish and German governments took steps in recent months towards normalization of relations and intensified talks to address their political differences.