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

Gülen-linked journalists organization voices concern over profiling claims

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), one of the most prominent institutions affiliated with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, released a statement expressing its concerns over the government’s claimed profiling of citizens, civic groups and public employees. “It is worrisome to witness developments that echo the said “National Security Board decision, such as the plan to ban prep schools, the profiling of public employees or the purging of bureaucrats who are affiliated with certain communities,” the statement published on the institution’s website said.

I am afraid 2012 will not be easy

Emre Uslu, Friday January 20, 2012 When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) received 50 percent of the votes in the 2011 election and came to power by promising to make a new constitution, expectations were raised to expect a transformation of the system. But if you consider the aftermath of the elections, one cannot […]

AK Party vs. Cemaat?

Ali Ünal Of the many seemingly true claims that have been put forward in regards to the discussions that have come about surrounding the Turkish government’s attempt to close down exam prep-courses, some arguments bear good intentions while others call the Hizmet Movement to “keep quiet” with arguments that lie far from the truth. One […]

No evidence Gulen movement is guilty of subversive activities

The suggestion that Mr Gulen intends to create a new religious political order in Turkey is untrue. He has spoken against political Islam and has always supported a democratic system. In one of his speeches, he explained: “Islam does not propose a certain unchangeable form of government or attempt to shape it.

The Turkish assassin is a product of Tayyip Erdogan’s incitement

Karlov’s murderer was Mevlüt Mert Altintas. He did not grow up in a vacuum. Five years ago, Erdogan acknowledged his goal was “to raise a religious generation.” Altintas is its product. He was seven years old when Erdogan came to power; his whole schooling was under Erdogan. If history is any pattern, the violence in Turkey is just beginning and Erdogan will not be able to contain it, even if he is inclined to try.

HRW: 6 Turks taken from Kosovo to Turkey face risk of torture and abuse

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, on Saturday tweeted that six Turkish nationals who were arrested by Kosovar police on Thursday and apparently spirited out of the country by Turkish intelligence later in the day would face the risk of torture and abuse in Turkey.

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

Local Muslims share Ramadan meal with each other and the community

Gülen’s education model discussed at Indonesia conference

GYV President Yeşil decodes the Gülen movement

Kimse Yok Mu reach out its helping held by distributing meat in Mongolia

“Hizmet” movement, the current tensions and self-criticism (Interview with Ihsan Yilmaz)

Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit Magazine included Fethullah Gulen among its 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People

Bal asks whether Erdoğan is trying to suppress religious communities

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News