Former Turkish diplomat caught smuggling heroin to Europe

Turkish authorities at the Hamzabeyli border gate in the northwestern Edirne province found 100 kg of heroin in the trunk of a former Turkish diplomat and civil society figure for the Turkish diaspora in Europe, daily Sözcü reported on Tuesday.

Veysel Filiz was leaving Turkey together with his family when border agents searched his car upon an anonymous tip.

The heroin discovered in a secret compartment was worth 5 million euros ($6.1 million), Sözcü said.

Filiz was the media undersecretary to the Turkish embassy in Brussels until he was dismissed in the post-coup purges of 2016. He is the current spokesman for European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO).

The former diplomat was expecting to return to his duties within a month, after winning the lawsuits he filed against his dismissal, relatives of the former state official in Turkey’s central Yozgat province told reporters.

Tens of thousands of civil servants were dismissed in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which Turkey maintains was orchestrated by followers of Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen.

In an earlier interview with a local television, Filiz denounced Gülenists, saying he was not part of the group and blamed the group for his dismissal.

The Turkish authorities publicly announce all drug busts at the border, but the incident involving Filiz was kept under wraps for two weeks until a police report was leaked to the press, Sözcü said.

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