ECtHR urges Albania not to deport Gülen follower to Turkey


Date posted: January 24, 2021

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg sent an official request to Albania asking it not to deport a Turkish citizen who is known to be a follower of the Gülen movement to Turkey as his trial has not been concluded in Albania, the Tirana Times, a weekly English language newspaper, reported.

The ECtHR ruling concerns an application filed by Selami Şimşek, who along with another Turkish citizen, Harun Çelik, were arrested in 2019 in Albania while trying to travel to Canada with fake passports. Çelik, a Turkish teacher at a school formerly affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement in Albania, was illegally deported to Turkey in January 2020 at the request of the Turkish government, despite extradition procedures not being followed and the fact that he had sought asylum.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Upon release from prison in March 2020, Şimsek also applied for asylum in Albania, due to his links to the Gülen movement, fearing that returning to Turkey would put his life in danger.

His request was rejected by the Albanian authorities, who claimed that the Turkish state did not pose a serious threat to him or his family. Şimşek later sued the Albanian Interior Ministry due to the refusal of his asylum request. His attempt to reverse the decision of the ministry was also rejected by an administrative court in Albania. As a last step, Şimşek took his case to the ECtHR. The Albanian authorities and Şimşek’s lawyer were informed of the ECtHR ruling last Friday.

The cases of Şimsek and Çelik have raised concerns among the opposition and civil society in Albania as well as international organizations, which fear Albania is not respecting its obligations towards human rights conventions due to its close ties with Turkey.

Since the coup attempt, followers of the Gülen movement have been subjected to a massive crackdown, with the Turkish government and pro-government media outlets demonizing its members.

Turkey had previously been able to bring Gülen-affiliated individuals back home without official extradition processes in several countries such as Kosovo and Moldova.

Turkish officials claim more than 100 Gülen followers have been brought back to the country since the failed 2016 coup.

In the latest such development, two Turkish teachers who were detained in the Ukrainian city of Rava-Ruska on New Year’s Day were deported to Turkey on Jan. 6 by Ukrainian authorities. The teachers, Salih Fidan and Samet Güre, were working at Gülen-affiliated schools in Iraq and were trying to make their way to Europe to seek asylum because their Turkish passports were about to expire and they feared Turkish authorities would not renew them.

Source: Turkish Minute , January 13, 2021


Related News

Written Evidence to UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Hizmet

The Alliance for Shared Values of the US & The Dialogue Platform of the UK have prepared a report on “UK’s relations with Turkey” that focuses on the Hizmet Movement. The report may be downloaded, disseminated for free and even printed. Representatives from these organizations were personally invited to submit written evidence by the Committee to explain Hizmet and provide Hizmet’s response to the AKP government’s allegations against Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement.

Don’t forget! The real agenda is corruption, theft

The core matter is neither a power struggle between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Hizmet movement or a so-called imaginary “parallel state,” claim propagated in reference to the natural presence of sympathizers of the Hizmet movement in the public sector. Despite all attempts at diversion and distraction, what we should always keep in mind in our discussions is the charges of corruption, graft and unfair revenues.

Who is Fethullah Gülen?

The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, rightly called it “a coup against democracy” when Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı and STV network executive Hidayet Karaca, together with a number of screenwriters and television producers, were detained on Dec. 14 on the incredible charges of founding or belonging to “an armed terrorist organization aiming to seize the sovereignty of the state.”

How come a 25 days old BABY could be a THREAT to the national security?

I was told that [Turkish Consulate] may issue a 3 months temporary passport which we can only use it to get back to Turkey. To ensure that they also labeled an extra note on the passport which says can only be used to return to Turkey.

Fethullah Gülen’s Lawyers: Gülen Movement Has No Link With Zarrab Case In US

The lawyers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen said on Tuesday that the Gülen movement has no link to the case of Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab in the US.

Turkey’s teachers, police officers join unskilled labor force after coup purge

Many public servants, including police officers and teachers, found themselves working at unskilled jobs in the labor market after being dismissed following decrees issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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

Int’l symposium in Washington D.C. to discuss Hizmet’s contribution to world peace

Filipino student wins Turkish international schools contest

Peace Islands Institute Annual Gala 2014

Woman miscarries twins after arrest, struggles for her life in prison

France sentences attacker targeting Gulenists as Turkey releases gunman in similar case

EU and Turkey’s rights abuse

Obama to become a parallel, too?

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News