Gabon handed three Gulen network members to Turkey

President Erdogan said that Gabon handed three members of the Gulen network to Turkey

Gabon handed three Gulen network members to Turkey, says Erdogan


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony marking the 2016 failed coup, at the Bestepe People’s Culture and Congress Centre in Ankara, on July 13, 2017. Photo credit: ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

April 10, 2018 – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on 10 April that Gabon handed three members of the Gulen network to Turkey, reported website of privately-owned CNN Turk.

“Lastly, Gabon also handed three important FETO [Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation] members to our country. We will go after them no matter to where they flee,” Erdogan said speaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting.

Turkish government refers Gulen network as FETO and accuses it of being behind the 2016 failed coup attempt.

“We took six of them from Kosovo and three from Gabon. Our national intelligence is chasing them. We will see from where the rest of them will emerge,” Erdogan said.

Recently, Turkey’s National Intelligence (MIT) agency reportedly brought six allegedly “high-ranking members of the network” from Kosovo, prompting tension between the two countries.

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj had sacked the interior minister and intelligence chief for not informing him about the operation.

Haradinaj’s move drew angry response from Erdogan, who accused the prime minister of “protecting” coup plotters.

Turkey has been conducting operations against Gulen suspects across various other countries.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag had stated that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) brought a total of 80 FETO suspect from 18 different countries.
Source: CNN Turk website, Istanbul, in Turkish 1107 gmt, April 10, 2018
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

In a first, Turkey’s intelligence service snatches six suspected Erdogan critics in Kosovo

The Kosovo abductions were executed without the knowledge of Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who fired his interior minister and intelligence chief after the incident.

April 08, 2018 – In the first commando operation of its kind in Europe, the Turkish intelligence service arrested six suspected critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kosovo — without the knowledge of Kosovo’s prime minister.

Erdogan said agents of the National Intelligence Organisation, known by its Turkish initials MIT, captured five teachers and a doctor, all Turkish nationals with valid residency in Kosovo, on March 29 and took them to Turkey like parcels.” Pictures published by Turkish media showed the handcuffed suspects standing before Turkish flags in an unknown location.

The six men are said to be members of the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric accused by the Erdogan government of orchestrating a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Gulen denies the charges.

Since the putsch, Erdogan has cracked down on the Gulen networks in Turkey’s state apparatus, firing 150,000 officials from the military, the judiciary and the bureaucracy and sending approximately 50,000 people to jail. Turkey has asked countries all over the world to extradite Gulen followers. Several countries, especially in Asia and Africa, expelled Gulen supporters, often teachers who work at schools run by the movement.

Government spokesman Bekir Bozdag told the Haberturk television channel that covert operations by Turkish intelligence agents in 18 countries had netted approximately 80 Gulen supporters and returned them to Turkey. He did not name the countries involved but said operations would continue. The Pristina incident marked the first time that Ankara picked up suspected government critics in Europe.

Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin denied that Turkey was involved in illegal acts” but rights activists say the Kosovo case is worrying. This is a dramatic example of lawlessness,” Andrew Gardner, a senior adviser and researcher on Turkey for Amnesty International, said in an interview. It is symptomatic of a situation where the rule of law is not respected.”

Gardner said Turkey was doing itself a disservice with commando operations such as the one in Kosovo because they will make courts in other countries less likely to extradite suspected government critics. Turkey had to show that suspects could expect a fair trial after an extradition.

The West has been reluctant to act on Turkish demands to extradite Gulen and his followers. In the United States, authorities said Ankara has not presented enough evidence linking the 76-year-old cleric, who lives in Pennsylvania, to violent crimes. EU countries also pointed to a lack of evidence.

Germany hosts hundreds of Turkish dissidents from the Gulen movement and other groups. Turkey recently issued an additional arrest warrant for Can Dundar, a prominent journalist condemned as a spy” by Erdogan who had fled to Berlin.

Turkey said the rejection of extradition requests by its Western partners amounts to support for terrorism.

There have been indications for some time that Turkey is trying to extend its grip to EU countries, given that extradition pleas fall on deaf ears there. Last year, Enes Kanter, a Turkish player with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder in the United States and a known Erdogan critic, had his passport revoked during a visit to Romania. Kanter was able to return to the United States after the NBA and the US State Department intervened. The athlete said his political views about Erdogan, whom he called the Hitler of our century,” were reasons his passport was cancelled.

Also last year, Turkey asked Spain to extradite Dogan Akhanli, a German writer of Turkish descent, in what Akhanli called a manhunt” by Ankara. He returned to Germany from Spain after several months. In another case that raised eyebrows in Europe, prosecutors in Switzerland said in March they were investigating whether Turkish diplomats planned to drug and kidnap a Swiss-Turkish businessman as part of the crackdown after the coup attempt.

The Kosovo abductions were executed without the knowledge of Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who fired his interior minister and intelligence chief after the incident. One cannot just snatch people from Kosovo,” Haradinaj told the Voice of America’s Albanian service. This was a sort of a theft of people from Kosovo.”

Erdogan said Haradinaj would pay” for his response to the MIT operation. Unlike Haradinaj, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci appeared to defend the renditions, saying the Gulen supporters were suspected of crimes.

The incident could have repercussions for relations of both Kosovo and Turkey with the European Union. Both countries want to join the bloc but face resistance.

The arrest and subsequent deportation of six Turkish nationals legally residing in Kosovo raise questions about the respect of the due process of law,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs and security policy. The rule of law is a fundamental principle of the European Union.”
Source: Al-Arab, by Thomas Seibert, April 08, 2018
Description of source: English edition of an Arabic-language newspaper, covering Arab affairs, features, culture, business and entertainment. Country of origin: United Kingdom
© 2018, Al-Arab, All rights Reserved.

Kosovo PM to Turkey’s Erdogan: ‘We Mind Our Own Affairs’

April 02, 2018 – 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.

It was on Saturday when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj would “pay” for dismissing his interior minister and intelligence chief for deporting the six from Kosovo without his permission.

“Since when have you started to defend those who attempted a coup against Turkey?” Erdogan asked, noting Turkey was the second country in the world to recognize Kosovo after the United States. “How can you [defend] these people who attempted a coup against Kosovo’s brother country – Turkey? You will answer for this!”

Haradinaj, who said he was not informed about the operation, fired the two officials after a brief investigation “of all [state] structures that were involved” in the arrests, arguing that the deportations constituted a “violation of the decisionmaking hierarchy.”

On Monday, while addressing an event marking the 550th anniversary of the death of the Albanian national hero, George Kastrioti – who for 25 years fought against the Ottoman invasion – Haradinaj rejected Erdogan’s demands.

“Kosovo and I have not intervened in Turkey’s internal affairs, either in the past or today or in the future,” he said. “Meanwhile, other people cannot on behalf of Kosovo take care of our own affairs at home. Let this be known to all.”

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci last week said he was “disillusioned how [Kosovo’s] relevant institutions” had failed to protect foreign citizens working in Kosovo, adding that he, too, had learned about it only after the arrest.

Kosovo’s foreign ministry strongly denounced the action, saying that “the arrest and deportation of the Turkish citizens with a regular residence permit is in direct contradiction to international norms.”

Turkey has been a principal backer of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008. Turkish firms run the tiny Balkan country’s sole airport and electricity network and are building two highways worth around $2 billion.

Ankara accuses Gulen, a Muslim cleric based in the United States, of masterminding a July 15, 2016, coup attempt and has declared his movement a terrorist operation. Gulen denies any link to the attempted coup.
Source: by Leonat Shehu, Voice of America Press Releases and Documents, April 02, 2018
Description of source: A collection of various news articles, press releases and documents from Voice of America. Country of origin: United States
© 2018 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

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