Turkey’s extradition adventure undermined Kosovan rule of law – Expert

Students of Mehmet Akif College demonstrate against the arrest of their teachers in Pristina on March 29, 2018. 
In an operation carried out between Turkey's National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and Kosovo's spy services, six high-ranking members of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement were brought back home on a private plane, Anadolu news agency reported, citing security sources. / AFP PHOTO / Armend NIMANI
Students of Mehmet Akif College demonstrate against the arrest of their teachers in Pristina on March 29, 2018. In an operation carried out between Turkey's National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and Kosovo's spy services, six high-ranking members of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement were brought back home on a private plane, Anadolu news agency reported, citing security sources. / AFP PHOTO / Armend NIMANI


Date posted: April 6, 2018

Turkey’s operation to abduct six Turkish citizens from Kosovo last week reinforced the image of a country “acting outside the bounds of normal behaviour” for an EU candidate and NATO member country, according Freedom House project director Nate Schenkkan.

Turkey alleges that all six are members of a criminal network made up of followers of the exiled Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, the man accused of plotting the failed coup attempt in July 2016.

“Turkey, which was supposed to help Kosovo to construct the rule of law in that country in this difficult phase, is playing a destructive role,” Schenkkan told AhvalTV. “They are subverting Kosovo’s intel agency and interior agency to get cooperation to pull an illegal operation.”

Schenkkan, an occasional contributor to Ahval and frequent commentator on developments in Turkey, said the abduction of six Turkish citizens had led to a big falling out in Kosovo between the prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, who maintains that the operation was carried out without his permission, andPresident Hashim Thaçi, who praised it.

Haradinaj tweeted that he would take action appropriate to his office shortly after news of the operation emerged, and promptly fired the Kosovan interior minister and intelligence chief.

Doğa Ulaş Eralp, a scholar-practitioner of international conflict resolution,discussed the historic background of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s presence in the Balkans with AhvalTV.

Eralp said that since the AKP government had come to power in the early 2000’s it had depended on Gulenist networks in Balkans to further Turkish interests.

These business interests in Kosovo hit a value of $2 billion, and with many crucial investments coming from Turkish businessmen, Turkey’s AKP government is a significant player for the Kosovan government. However, Eralp added, “Turkish support comes with a cost.”

Eralp said prime minister Haradinaj, who opposed the Turkish government operation, is an Albanian nationalist and “almost an anti-Ottoman interventionist.”

President Hashim Thaçi, on the other hand, is known both for the “ardent” support shown to him by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and for the allegations of a dark past with links to organised crime since the Kosovan war.

When it comes to the state of Kosovo, Schenkkan says it is “a very unusual, very young state, which became independent in 2008 only following the NATO intervention of 1999, a final breakaway of the former Yugoslavia.” In other words, Kosovo was created from the “ashes of the war, ashes of Yugoslavia.”

“The structure of the Kosovan state has a lot of international involvement. Kosovo is a kind of a hybrid state,” said Schenkkan. “EU and Western oversight is interjected into the state,” he added, particularly due to the presence of international judges at the country’s constitutional court, and diplomatic pressure from the United Kingdom, France, the United States and EU diplomatic influence.

Yet there is still a “big divide” within Kosovo, between what and how Kosovan politicians see things and international expectations, said Schenkkan. One of the biggest issues within Kosovo currently is the conflict between this international oversight or intervention and nationalism, with the main opposition party maintaining a strong anti-internationalist stance.

The arrests were greeted with fanfare by the press in Turkey, where there is widespread agreement that Gülenists have been complicit in misdeeds stretching far back before the 2016 coup attempt. As such, some would argue that Erdoğan had the rıght to snatch the six in Kosovo.

“Erdoğan has every right to pursue his perceived enemies within his sovereign country,” said Eralp. “However, (the six abductees) were residents in Kosovo. They were there for more than 10 years. They were under the legal protection of the independent state of Kosovo.”

Turkey, as the second state to recognize of the independence of Kosovo, had an obligation to support the sovereignty and integrity of Kosovo and respect the country, according to the scholar. Yet by abducting the six, continued Eralp, Erdoğan had breached two basic principles of international law. “The Prime Minister of Kosovo said they were not consulted about this operation which makes it illegal. Act itself is a violation of international law.”

With this operation, according to Eralp, the Turkish president has put Turkey in a difficult place vis-a-vis Turkey’s influence as a third-party intermediary between Serbia and Kosovo, and harmed its standing internationally, despite the domestic benefits.

Moreover, the Kosovan action, Schenkkan noted, constituted a breach of major international agreements signed by Turkey and Kosovo. It was also a blow to the high hopes held by the EU and United States that Turkey could play a positive rule in consolidating the rule of law in a young Balkan state that had emerged from a bloody conflict, said Schenkkan.

Dr. Eralp noted that Turkey has been preaching for support of democracy in the international arena, but “this no longer fits into Turkey’s agenda of action.”

Eralp also commented on Turkey’s new “diaspora affairs” department, which was recently created under the Turkish prime ministry. According to Eralp, this new department is instrumentalising the diaspora as “quasi-intelligence gathering networks in the Western Balkans and elsewhere.”

Eralp expects further repetition of such acts such as kidnapping or snatching not only in Balkans but perhaps also in Western countries.

Eralp called on EU leaders to re-evaluate their policy of appeasement. “EU leaders in the recent Varna summit decided to give yet another pass to Turkish leader as long as he is vocally committed Turkey’s future in Europe,” said Eralp. “Yet the actions of the Turkish government in areas that matter for future European integration does not fit the narrative he adopted in Varna.”

 

Source: Ahvalnews , April 5, 2018


Related News

Turkish school shows EU already chose Turkey

HASAN CÜCÜK, EMRE OĞUZ, COPENHAGEN State Minister and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bağış said, “We are trying to get into the EU, but as far as I can see thanks to this school the EU nations already prefer us.” The minister said every Turkish school opened abroad reflected the tolerance of Turkish culture. State Minister […]

Abant Platform “Africa: Between Experience And Inspiration” Final Declaration

– We, the participants of the 29th Abant Platform Forum on “Africa: Between Experience and Inspiration”, held at Abant/Turkey on 28-30 June 2013, hereby, welcome the initiative of Journalists and Writers Foundation/Abant Platform, for a long and lasting partnership, based on mutual respect, goodwill, compassion and understanding between the Peoples of Africa and the People […]

Nigerian govt reacts to planned deportation of 1000 Turks

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has refuted reports that 1,000 Turks will be extradited from Nigeria on the request of the Turkish government. Onyeama assured all foreign nationals, including Turks resident in the country legally, of full protection under Nigerian and International Laws.

Defamation campaign against Hizmet condemned by CSOs from across country

A large-scale dark propaganda war is being conducted by some circles close to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against the Hizmet movement and Gülen, particularly since a corruption scandal erupted in December of 2013 in which three Cabinet ministers’ sons, many state bureaucrats and renowned businessmen accused of giving bribes in exchange for favors were implicated.

Brazilian Intellectuals and Artists Defend Turk against Demands for Extradition to Turkey

A group of Brazilian intellectuals and artists wrote a public letter defending the Turkish naturalized Brazilian Ali Sipahi, who has been imprisoned since the Turkish government, led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, requested to extradite him.

Alevis and Sunnis to Search for Peace and a Future Together at Abant Meeting

Upcoming 30th meeting of the Abant Platform will search for a peaceful common future for Alevis and Sunnis who have been living peacefully together in Anatolia despite external provocations and some unwanted interruptions. The coexistence in the past promises hope for future. The meeting is themed as “Alevis and Sunnis: Searching for Peace and a Future Together,” which will be attended by intellectuals who will also be part of the solution.

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

Turkish family, kidnapped in Pakistan, deported to Turkey Saturday morning

Dismissed after coup attempt, teacher detained during visit to imprisoned relative

Defying Odds, Afghan Girl Gets Top Grades for University Entrance Exams

Yamanlar and Fatih High Schools’ success at International Science Olympiads

Who is Fethullah Gülen, why is the Gülen movement currently being targeted by the Turkish government?

Rumi Forum Fellowship Program 2015

Alevis voice unease over lack of promised rights at Abant meeting

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News