A senior member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, came to Turkey last month to surrender himself to Turkish authorities, security sources said on Wednesday.
Alpaslan Demir, also known in the US as David Keynes, was put in jail after being heard by the court on duty on June 9, said a Turkish source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The source said Demir contacted Turkish authorities through his lawyer and declared his intention to surrender and confess, and his lawyers submitted a petition to judicial authorities in Istanbul on March 4.
Demir eventually arrived at Istanbul Airport on June 9.
In court, he admitted that he holds the copyright to ByLock, the terror group’s encrypted messaging app, but later claimed his credit card and ID were used by FETO members without his knowledge.
Detailing his history and affiliation to the court, Demir confirmed that he stayed at houses strictly supervised by the terror group, and worked, for a short time, for exam preparation courses operated by the group as a revenue stream.
But he added that his growing frustration with FETO led him to disassociate himself from the terror group in 1997.
Later, he met with Hikmet Cetinkaya, a columnist for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, and told him the details about the terror group, he said.
Saying that he constantly warned people who remained affiliated with FETO about the dangers of the group, Demir said: “I believe that (FETO ringleader) Fetullah Gulen is a schizophrenic who significantly ruined 45 years of Anatolian youth.”
Demir now faces charges of armed terror group membership and up to 15 years in prison.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.