In new incursion, Turkey orchestrates rushed extraditions from Kosovo
Students of Mehmet Akif College protest the Turkish arrest of their teachers in Pristina, Kosovo, on March 29, 2018. Photo: Armend Nimani
Date posted: April 11, 2018
David L. Phillips
In the latest example of Turkey’s brazen expansionism into Kosovo, it secured the extradition of six Turkish teachers it has accused of belonging to the Gulen movement, which President Erdogan blames for the failed 2016 coup. Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, has since fired his interior minister and intelligence chief for deporting the Turkish nationals without his knowledge.
Why it matters: Transparency and the rule of law are necessary for Kosovo to gain greater global recognition. But Turkey continues to treat Kosovo like a vassal state, impinging on its sovereignty while expanding its cultural and commercial influence inside its neighbor’s borders.
Erdogan has belittled Kosovo’s status as an independent nation, maintaining that the two countries “belong to a common history, common culture, common civilization …Turkey is Kosovo, Kosovo is Turkey!”
Turkish firms have won contracts for large public projects and services, including management of the Pristina International Airport and ownership of the utility company KEDS. Such privatization is rife with corruption: The former CEO of one of the companies that acquired KEDS, for example, is Erdogan’s son-in-law.Without more oversight in the commercial sector, Kosovo won’t be seen as a credible destination for foreign investment.
Turkey also exports Islamism under the guise of cultural cooperation, through the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA). Since 2012, TIKA has restored scores of Ottoman religious structures and built dozens of new mosques across Kosovo. On behalf of Turkey, Erdogan pledged funds for a mega-mosque in Pristina.Overt symbols of religiosity have not historically been characteristic of Kosovars.
The bottom line: Kosovo is at a crossroads: It can either entrench the rule of law and progress with Euro-Atlantic integration by investigating matters like the recent extradition, the financing of Turkish corporate acquisitions and the operations of TIKA — or it can succumb to Erdogan’s Islamist and anti-Western agenda.
David L. Phillips is director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University and a former senior adviser to both the UN Secretariat and the U.S. Department of State.
Gulen-linked org’s statement on Turkish Govt’s arrest of pro-Kurdish Parliamentarians
AfSV Statement on Turkish Government’s Arrest of HDP Parliamentarians Erdogan’s Persecutions Underscore Authoritarian Slide New York (November 9, 2016) – The Alliance for Shared Values is deeply concerned about the arrests of nine members of Turkish Parliament from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and Ms. Figen Yuksekdag. […]
Turkish police detain al-Qaeda suspects
Turkish anti-terrorism police carried out raids in six cities on Tuesday, detaining at least five people with alleged links to al-Qaeda, including an employee of a prominent Islamic charity group that provides aid to Syria, media reports and officials said.
Court imposes punitive fine on author for libeling Gülen family
Mısıroğlu was found guilty of fabricating lies about Gülen’s father and grandfather in his book, “Manipulation Movements from Past to Present – 3.”
Gülen’s brothers Seyfullah and Salih Gülen and his uncle Seyfettin Gülen sued the author at the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, arguing that the claims in the book are baseless and defamatory. Fethullah Gülen’s lawyers have filed a second libel suit against Mısıroğlu at the İstanbul 12th Criminal Court of First Instance.
‘If you are against us, you are the other’
Turkey has been witnessing a rigorous debate for the last couple of weeks over the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) vow to finish off the test prep schools, which are a source of both money and influence for its old ally, the Hizmet Movement led by the self-exiled leader, Fethullah Gülen. Like many controversies in Turkey, the issue of closing the courses and integrating them into Turkey’s poorly-established and -organized education system was not only about the prep schools, which was only the tip of the iceberg.
Woman Detained At Hospital, Jailed With 3-Day-Old Baby In Turkey Over Alleged Gülen Links
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.
Witch hunt spreads to courthouse
Erdoğan’s government is continuing to harass his opponents, especially people and companies affiliated with the Hizmet movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, for their critical stance against the corruption that has implicated senior government officials.
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
Spinning on the Same World
Frontal assault on free enterprise in Turkey: The case of prep-schools
78 detained for raising money for post-coup purge victims
Reporters Without Borders urges Turkey to rescind draconian state of emergency decrees
Kimse Yok mu delivers aid in Palestine during Eid al-Adha
Turkey’s Internet watchdog blocks access to website broadcasting Gülen’s speeches
Turkey’s leading prep school network rejects claims it cheated on state exams