ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - Turkish police on Thursday arrested an employee of the United States Consulate in the southern city of Adana over alleged membership in the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as well as Gulen movement.
There was an arrest warrant for the Consulate's translator Hamza Ulucay, a Turkish citizen, issued by a prosecutor's office in the town of Kiziltepe in the Kurdish province of Mardin, said the privately-owned Dogan news agency (DHA).
The prosecutor argued Ulucay had traveled to Mardin "to instigate people into engaging in provocative activities" in the aftermath of the killing of an allegedly high-ranking PKK fighter codenamed "Behzad" during clashes last week in the Korukoy village, blockaded for about two weeks now by the Turkish army.
When raiding his house in Adana, police failed to detain the translator, finding out he was at the Consulate where they went to notify American officials.
DHA reported the US Consulate then handed Ulucay over to the Turkish police outside the building, but the state-funded Anadolu Agency reported the translator was "apprehended" as he was leaving consular premises.
Authorities later transferred Ulucay to Kiziltepe, Mardin where the prosecutor was to interrogate him over intercepted telephone conversations with "a PKK terrorist."
Turkish agencies said police confiscated "illegal books" and "F series" at the translator's Adana home.
Police found 21 American one-dollar bills at the translator's house, seven of them with the series letter "F."
Judiciary and security forces have in previous cases deemed possessing the "F" series as evidence for having a position in the hierarchy of the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement which the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuse of masterminding the failed summer 2016 military coup attempt.
Also, a picture taken by the police and released to the media showed seven books in Kurdish, Turkish and English about the Kurds and Kurdistan printed by Turkey and US-based registered publications, such as Random House, Avesta, and Iletisim.
A photography book by the renowned American documentarian Susan Meiselas "Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History" was among them, as well as two Kurdish books about culture and history and a Turkish translation of the religious texts of Zoroastrianism, Avesta.
There was no immediate comment regarding the arrest by the Consulate whose area of responsibility encompasses 22 Kurdish-majority provinces in southern and eastern Turkey, or the Embassy in capital Ankara.
Editing by Ava Homa