A former naval officer who has allegedly been linked to the Gülen network and accused of leading the failed coup attempt in Turkey last year has finally left Greek Cyprus after having sought political asylum on the island country, according to an official source.

Kadir Karaman, Former Naval Captain along with his Kazakhstani-origin wife Nina Pozhidaeva, who arrived on the Larnaca marina from the southern province of Mersin on October 1 in their luxury yacht named “Sanchez,” had previously requested asylum on the basis of the fact that they were being persecuted in their home country of Turkey. The couple, who had been staying on the yacht under police surveillance ever since, have now left the island.

The Greek Cypriot government, which attempted to handle the matter in a hush manner, failed to do so when Karaman’s identity was revealed after having an alleged public phone conversation with one of the most sought-after “secret imams,” while working as a part of İzmir-based operation into the Gülen network.

This led to the issuance of a detention warrant, followed by the Police conducting raids in his residence. By that time, however, Karaman had already left the Mersin port with his wife aboard the 10.5 meter luxury yacht. Arriving at Larnaca around a day later, Karaman and his wife requested to gain political asylum on the island, explaining to the Greek Cypriot police that the authorities wanted to falsely detain him over links to the Gülen network.

Karaman’s case is being considered as the first time ever when a Turkish Armed Forces member has requested asylum in Greek Cyprus.