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.
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.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday lashed out at Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj for dismissing the interior minister and the secret service chief over the abduction of six Turkish nationals to Turkey, threatening that he would pay for it.
More importantly, is there any role played by President Hashim Thaçi who is known to be very close to the Turkish government? After all, it seems that Turkey’s Erdogan has a parallel state in Kosovo that executes decisions without the the knowledge of the incumbent prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.
The Alliance for Shared Values denounces the detention of six Turkish nationals in Kosovo on Thursday morning as a result of demands from the Turkish government. This is the latest incident in which the Recep Tayyip Erdogan regime has targeted innocent individuals solely based on affiliation with the Hizmet movement.
Thousands of Turkish nationals, including Gulenists, opposition members, and minorities, fled Turkey and scattered throughout the globe, particularly in Europe and the US; some educators and civil servants with actual or alleged ties to the transnational religious Gulenist movement fled to Kosovo.
A civil servant: “Tens of thousands of people, educated people, academics, journalists, lawyers, and many others, are scattered around the world for different reasons and are trying to find a safe place where they can be sheltered and continue their lives with their families. The Ugur Toksoy case was the point when Kosovo’s level of safety, or its breaking point, was put to test.”