Friday, August 5, 2016

Turkey: Dollar Bills Seen as Evidence of Coup-Plotter Links

Associated Press
5 August 2016

By ELENA BECATOROS, Associated Press

ISTANBUL –  After raiding a home and business owned by someone suspected of loyalties to a banned Muslim cleric, police listed the incriminating evidence they found: two shotguns, a pistol, ammunition, a fake identity card — and three $1 bills.

The serial numbers, they noted, all began with the letter F.

In one of the odder twists in Turkey's failed July 15 coup and the subsequent crackdown, authorities are citing U.S. banknotes — and $1 bills in particular — as evidence that people are followers of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup. [...]

One idea making the rounds in Turkish news media is that the letters at the start of the banknotes' serial numbers correspond to ranks in the movement. According to a report in the Aksam daily, one theory is that F designates a high-ranking soldier or police chief; J and C represent low-ranking soldiers; E and S are for instructors and academics in Gulenist schools and B is for students.

"With one American dollar, this organization turned the children of this country into monsters," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday in a speech. […]