The long arm of Erdogan is on the hunt for so-called “Gülenists” around the globe, and is being allowed to do so.
On March 29, six Kosovo-based Turkish nationals were snatched by the Kosovar intelligence agency, in a covert early-morning operation.
The men – all of whom worked at schools linked to the Gülen movement – were extradited and flown back in a private jet to Turkey, being tortured en route according to a lawyer affiliated with their families.
The men – Cihan Ozkan, Hasan Huseyin Gunakan, Kahraman Demirez, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina– were accused of belonging to what Turkey derogatorily refers to as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), helping Gülenists flee Turkey for Europe and the United States. Photos of the six were widely distributed in Turkish media, which described them as members of FETÖ.
Nearly six months after their kidnapping, ”the charges relating to alleged terror activities still make no sense to the men’s families or their colleagues in Kosovo. An op-ed piece “Kosovo has forgiven Turkish interference too easily,”was the headline of a recent Op-Ed by Kosovar journalist Nektar Zogjani.
Things are going as Erdogan wants. There have been, in recent months, similar abductions of “Gülenists” in Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Gabon, while an attempted abduction by Turkish security services was foiledd in Mongolia.
Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu boasted that at least 100 alleged members of the Gülen movement have been taken by Turkish intelligence agents abroad to Turkey in the past two years.