Amnesty International’s (AI) local branch in UK’s Kirklees distict has called on Kosovar government to avoid extradition of Turkish teachers abducted on Thursday.
“Turkey chair Taner Kilic’s unlawful arrest in Turkey has showed us the arbitrariness in Turkey’s judiciary. Extradition of Turkish teachers to Turkey without due process is a severe mistake and should be avoided,” the local Amnesty office tweeted Friday night.
Earlier in the day, Human Rights Foundation also asked Kosovo PM and President to free the group.
“HRF is of the view that the non-refoulment principle under international human rights law, which has primacy over domestic law in cases involving basic rights and guarantees, must be carefully weighed and applied in any decision over whether or not to grant deportation or extradition requests by the government of Turkey.
“HRF’s investigation indicates that their arrest is due to their association with a Turkish educational institution in Kosovo, and is part of the larger domestic and international crackdown led by the Turkish government against any individuals or institutions associated or perceived to be associated with the religious philosophy of Hizmet. Currently, Turkey is cracking down on the Hizmet philosophy and any alleged followers of the so-called “Gülen movement,” which is what, in this case, has turned executives and teachers of the Mehmet Akif College in Kosovo into targets of the Turkish regime.”
Kosovo police early on Thursday arrested 6 Gülenists who used to work at a group of schools affiliated with the Gülen group, which is accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding a failed coup attempt in 2016.
Turkey’s security sources earlier told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the suspects, named as Cihan Özkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina, were brought to Turkey via a private aircraft by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Both Kosovo PM and President said they were not informed about the operation expressing regret over the incident Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the operation saying: “Wherever they are, we will package them up and bring them [to Turkey], God willing.”
However, family members said late Friday that the group of 6 is still in Kosovo.
Erdoğan accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 while the latter denies involvement.
More than 150,000 people have been detained and 60,000 were remanded in prison over Gulen links in Turkey since the summer of 2016. Meanwhile, Erdogan called on foreign governments to punish Gulenists in their own countries.
So far , a number of countries like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia and Myanmar handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the United Nations.