If nothing else, the timing of this is certainly interesting. Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Washington for his meeting with President Trump scheduled for later today. It’s an encounter which I already described as problematic at best, given Erdogan’s new status as a strongman and tyrant, and it doesn’t seem to hold the promise of much benefit on our part.
The exiled cleric accused by Turkey of orchestrating last year’s attempted coup charged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with seeking to silence critics, as the Turkish leader prepared to push for the preacher’s extradition in a White House meeting with Donald Trump.
Stockholm Centre of Freedom (SCF) has called on the Malaysian government to halt its dirty bidding on behalf of the growingly repressive Turkish government led by President Recep Erdogan, following the arrest and deportation of three Turkish nationals from Kuala Lumpur.
The Turkish population already is strongly polarized on the AKP regime. A Turkey under a dictatorial regime, providing haven to violent radicals and pushing its Kurdish citizens into desperation, would be a nightmare for Middle East security. I probably will not live to see Turkey become an exemplary democracy, but I pray that the downward authoritarian drift can be stopped before it is too late.
Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in an elective caesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a 3-day-old baby in Zonguldak province as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.
Turkey has adopted a new thuggish tactic in persecuting its critics and opponents abroad by orchestrating abductions, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial renditions in addition to profiling and harassment of Turkish expatriates by government institutions and clandestine groups, a report released by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed.
Amid assassination concerns following the suspicious deaths of two people who allegedly fell from the balcony of their homes, a pro-Erdoğan Twitter troll named Ahmet Üstün (@ustunn_ahmet) on Friday called on the government to assassinate Gülen movement sympathizers in the country and abroad.
In the aftermath of the failed coup — and the subsequent purge of thousands of workers accused of being dissidents — Canada has seen a spike in asylum claims from Turkey. The 55,000-strong Turkish-Canadian community has also become increasingly polarized, with distrust and accusations of witch hunts against anyone deemed to be a sympathizer and supporter of the Gulen Movement.
If the three Turks are supporters of Gulen, then there is no case for Malaysia. Gulen is not a terrorist but merely a powerful thorn on the side of the Turkish dictator Tayyip Erdogan. Just because the three opposed the government of Erdogan was not sufficient reason for Malaysia to arrest and deport them. Malaysia is merely doing the “dirty” job for Erdogan.
“By sending these three men suspected of links to Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey, the Malaysian authorities have put their liberty and well-being at risk. They have already suffered a harrowing ordeal, being arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado. Now, they have been extradited to Turkey, where they could face arbitrary detention, unfair trial and a real risk of torture.”
Hanım Büşra Erdal was subjected to a strip search at the police station and humiliated by police officers when she was taken from her prison cell as she was preparing to leave the prison. A strip search is allowed only if circumstances so warrant. “She is a journalist and was taken from the prison. She was already going through routine checks and searches in prison,” her lawyer said.
Three Turkish nationals who were recently detained over controversial charges in Malaysia have been deported to Turkey. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia earlier called on Malaysian officials to refrain from extradition as the detainees are affiliated with the Gülen movement.