Kosovo’s Special Prosecution has confirmed to have received a criminal report against 22 police officers who were involved in the arrest and deportation of six Turkish nationals in March 2018 suspected of their alleged links with Fethullah Gulen’s movement.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci in a televised interview for T7 admitted for the first time that the arrest and deportation of the six Turkish men suspected of their links with Fetullah Gulen’s movement was wrong. Thaci has earlier publicly endorsed the extraditions, saying the six Turks were a danger to the fledgling country’s national security.
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.
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.
Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish preacher who has lived in voluntary exile in the US since 1999, on Tuesday criticized the deportation of six Turkish citizens from Kosovo to Turkey in an operation conducted by Turkish state intelligence, likening it to a hijacking.
The European Union on April 3 criticized Kosovo’s deportation of six Turks who were political foes of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying it “raised questions” about both Pristina’s and Ankara’s “respect” for human rights.
Gulistan Educational Institutions has declared that they will continue their activities despite their abducted teachers. 5 of their teachers were abducted by Turkish Intelligence Agency in cooperation with Kosovo’s intel agency, which shocked the global education community and protested in many countries including USA, Canada, and UK.
Kosovo’s prime minister on Monday pushed back against threats made by Turkey’s president over a probe into the arrest and deportation of six Turkish citizens with ties to schools linked to the Fethullah Gulen movement, which Ankara blames for a failed 2016 coup.
The Pristina abductions are merely the latest episode of Turkey’s global purge, the government’s campaign to pursue its opponents all over the world, which began in 2014 but has accelerated dramatically since the coup attempt of July 2016. In this time, Turkey has repeatedly resorted to extralegal means to target its perceived opponents abroad.