Turkish School Leader Abducted, and Released, in Mongolia


Date posted: July 29, 2018

A Turkish educator in Mongolia was briefly abducted on Friday, in what appeared to be the latest episode of a global campaign by Turkey’s president to capture suspected allies of the exiled cleric accused of plotting a 2016 coup attempt.

The educator, Veysel Akcay, runs a network of international schools that has been associated with the exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who blames Mr. Gulen for the failed coup, has purged tens of thousands of suspected Gulen supporters from government and military posts, and seized dozens of people from abroad.

Turkey has maintained that it extradites suspected Gulenists only with the permission of the foreign governments concerned. But the case of Mr. Akcay, who has lived in Mongolia for nearly 25 years, appears to cast doubt on that claim.

Mr. Akcay was near his apartment building in the capital, Ulan Bator, on Friday morning when he was bundled into a Toyota minivan, according to a colleague, Ganbat Batbuyan, who was in communication with the Mongolian police. That account was corroborated by two other people, including another colleague and a senior Mongolian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

Mr. Ganbat, the Mongolian general director of the Empathy foundation, which runs the Mongolia-Turkish schools, said the Mongolian police told him that the vehicle had a fake license plate and that three masked people were inside.

Several hours later, what the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described as a Turkish-chartered aircraft landed at Ulan Bator’s airport. It was a Bombardier jet with a call sign matching that of a plane operated by the Turkish Air Force, according to an online flight-tracking service, Flightradar24.

As word leaked out about the aircraft on Friday afternoon, Mr. Akcay’s friends and family congregated at the airport.

Later that afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the Mongolian government had ordered the flight grounded. Any seizure of Mr. Akcay, it added, would constitute an “unacceptable act of violation of Mongolia’s sovereignty and independence and Mongolia will strongly object.”

The jet left before 9:15 p.m., without Mr. Akcay on board. He was released several hours later, officials said.

In April, Bekir Bozdag, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said in a television interview that Turkish intelligence operatives in 18 countries, including Kosovo and Malaysia, had seized dozens of Turks suspected of having links to Mr. Gulen and taken them back to Turkey.

Mr. Erdogan’s government has pressured foreign countries to shutter schools that it says are allied with the spiritual movement of Mr. Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania and has denied involvement in the attempted coup.

In 2016, for instance, the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia urged the closure of schools he said were linked to Mr. Gulen, whom he accused of running a “terrorist organization.”

The same year, Turkish diplomats attempted to do the same with the educational network now run by Mr. Akcay, according to his colleagues.

The Turkish government accused six Turkish citizens who were deported from Kosovo on March 29, of having connections to Mr. Gulen, whose Islamic movement has garnered support in the Balkans, among other places.

Kosovo’s prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, said that he had not authorized the deportations, and fired his interior minister and secret service chief on the grounds that they had known about the operation and failed to inform him in advance.

This month, Mr. Erdogan’s son visited Mongolia and met with high-level officials, according to a post on the Turkish Embassy’s Facebook page.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But in its statement, the Mongolian Foreign Ministry said that a Turkish diplomat in Mongolia had “reaffirmed that the Republic of Turkey respects the independence and sovereignty of Mongolia, and any illegal activities, including the abduction of persons, have not been conducted on the territory of Mongolia.”

For their part, Mr. Akcay’s friends and family said that the fast response of Mongolian authorities underscored the relative openness of the country’s political system.“

I would like to thank the Mongolian police and government for acting so quickly,” Mr. Ganbat said. “We are a democracy with human rights, and this is not the kind of place where these things normally happen.”

 

Source: New York Times , July 28, 2018


Related News

US Sees No Need to Choose Between Partnership With Turkey, Gulen Extradition

The United States does not need to choose between its alliance with Turkey and the extradition of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, US Department of State spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said in a briefing on Thursday.

“Volunteers of education can end the chaos in the Muslim world”

Republican People’s Party (CHP) former party council member, Muhammed Cakmak referred to the global initiatives by volunteers of education as “a universal movement” and shared his belief that it will end the chaos in the Muslim world. CHP advisor noted this understanding based on de-marginalizing should prevail in Turkey in order to overcome social problems. […]

Why Erdogan Is Soft On ISIS

Turkey’s government and the media that support it have an odd attitude when it comes to violent acts carried out by ISIS: It’s as if the “cultural/ideological dialects” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government somehow malfunction. The government is politically accountable if ISIS actions do not stop in Turkey. Trying to cover this up with nonsense like “ISIS is the same as PKK and the Gülenists” only increases this accountability.

Police awaiting outside hospital to detain woman who just gave birth

A group of police officers has been waiting outside of private Hizmet Hospital in Istanbul’s Bahcelievler district in order to detain a woman who gave birth to her third child just several hours ago, according to Turkish media.

I am the mastermind behind the failed Turkish coup attempt! I am Mr. Gulen’s secret ‘abi’

Need I say more? Someone please let Mr. Amsterdam know of my confession so the witch hunt can end. Let him know that it was I who brainwashed Gulen and corrupted all his followers, so they are innocent. Tell President Obama to extradite me. No further “evidences” are needed beyond what I have provided above and my own confession. Extradite me to Turkey as soon as possible so that the madness can end. I can’t take the guilt any longer.

Turkey’s first intercultural dialogue center built on trust, offers quality services

The official data from the regional police department shows that there are 30,000 settled foreign citizens in Antalya and the surrounding cities. According to Kundak, this number could reach 100,000 as high when taking unofficial numbers into account.

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

Is it struggle between AK Party and Hizmet?

Erdogan plotted purge before coup, say Brussels spies

Der Spiegel: Turkish embassies pursuing Erdoğan critics in 35 countries

Georgetown University in Qatar professor authors book on interfaith dialogue, Hizmet Movement

Former Filipino deputy: Great that we have Kimse Yok Mu

Final Declaration of the 32nd Abant International Forum “Freedom of Speech & Respect for the Sacred”

309 Somali students come to Turkey for education

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News