Kosovo investigates seizure of Turkish nationals


Date posted: March 31, 2018

PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo authorities are investigating the arrest and extradition of six Turkish citizens, which activists said represented a violation of human rights, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said on Saturday.

The six Turkish nationals were arrested in Kosovo on Thursday at Turkey’s request over alleged links to schools financed by the Gulen movement, which Ankara blames for a failed 2016 coup.

On Friday Haradinaj sacked the Kosovo interior minister and secret service chief for failing to inform him about the arrests.

“Today we have decided to start an investigation of all (state) structures that were involved in arresting and deporting the six Turkish men,” Haradinaj said after an urgent meeting of Kosovo’s security council.

Ankara accused the six arrested men of being recruiters for a network run by the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, and said they had helped people accused of connections to the network to leave Turkey. Ankara blames Gulen and his movement for the coup attempt in 2016. Gulen denies involvement.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday the six men had been captured by Turkish intelligence officers and brought to Turkey.

“Our National Intelligence Agency (MIT) captured six of the highest ranking members of (Gulen’s network)in the Balkans in the operation it conducted in Kosovo,” said Erdogan, speaking to supporters and party members in Istanbul.

He added that he was saddened by the sacking of the Kosovo interior minister and secret service chief.

Human Rights Watch criticized the Kosovo authorities over the arrests.

“In addition to the questionable arrests, the men were sent to a country where they face a serious risk of torture,” the watchdog said in a statement.

Kosovo has been under pressure from Turkey in recent weeks to take action against schools funded by the Gulen organization.

Relatives of the six had stayed at Pristina airport until the early hours of Saturday after rumors spread that they might still be in Kosovo.

They left after the police said the six had been sent to Turkey on Thursday.

“My father was kidnapped,” said one relative, Mustafa Gunakan, outside the airport. “We thought we were safe in Kosovo. We never thought it would end this way.”

Florian Bieber, a Balkans expert at the University of Graz, said the incident could be damaging for Kosovo, which is seeking to build closer ties with the European Union.

“It certainly will hurt Kosovo, both for throwing doubt on the rule of law and political authority and for cooperation with a regime that is authoritarian and increasingly antagonistic with the EU,” Bieber told Reuters.

 

Source: Reuters , March 31, 2018


Related News

Secretary Tillerson: Evidence against Gulen provided by Turkey inadequate, while voluminous

Mr Gulen denies any role in the failed coup in July, and US officials have privately said the evidence provided by Turkey has been inadequate, while voluminous. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim recently described the delay as a joke on Turkey.

WikiLeaks reveals emails from the son-in-law of President Erdogan, ‘proving his connection to ISIS operation smuggling oil into Turkey’

WikiLeaks has released a tranche of more than 57,000 personal emails from the account of Turkey’s Minister of Oil Berat Albayrak, President Erdogan’s son-in-law. WikiLeaks alleges that the emails reveal ‘Albayrak’s involvement in organisations such as Powertrans, the company implicated in Isis oil imports’. The company has been implicated in oil imports from ISIS-controlled oil fields.

Mother detained over Gülen links while twins left in intensive care

A day after former teacher Ş.A., mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the faith-based Gülen movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby, another mother was detained as part of the same investigation while her twins were left in an intensive care unit.

Another AK Party deputy, Muhammed Çetin, resigns in protest

Çetin reportedly asked AK Party deputies Volkan Bozkır and Ali Aşlık about their shoebox numbers. His joke prompted other deputies to tell the incident to the party administration, which outraged with the joke and referred Çetin to the disciplinary committee with request of expulsion.

Erdoğan’s fight against education in Africa

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited a few African nations, among them Somalia and Ethiopia. When looking at his media mouthpieces’ coverage of the trip and his declarations, it seems the primary reason of his trip was to “tell” the African nations to close schools that were established by civil society groups and private companies affiliated with the Hizmet movement.

Gov’t to destroy 216K math, science textbooks published by Hizmet affiliated publishers

Turkey’s Education Ministry has decided to destroy at least 216,233 copies of math and science textbooks published by publishing houses affiliated with the Gülen movement, according to Hürriyet daily.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Final declaration of the 33rd Abant Platform: “Turkey direction”

Businessman jailed over Gülen links dies of cancer after his belated release from prison

Police awaiting outside hospital to detain woman who just gave birth

AFSV Statement on Temporary US Travel and Immigration Ban

Almost 1,000 officers removed from post in İzmir, Ankara

Rising Value of Turkey: ‘The Gülen Movement’

Nigerian Turkish Nile University: Moulding the Lives of Young Nigerians

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News