Albanian police have detained Harun Çelik, 41, a Turkish teacher who has been seeking protection in Albania for over five months, at Turkey’s request. He is at imminent risk of deportation to Turkey.
According to the Bold Media, Çelik fled Turkey after a coup attempt in 2016 and is belived to be detained by Albanian authorities upon a request by the Turkish government over his alleged links to Turkey’ Gülen group.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have been pursuing a crackdown on the Gülen group since a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.
The group is accused of masterminding the attempt, a claim rejected by its leader, Fethullah Gülen.
According to the Bold news, Çelik applied for refugee status in Albania over 6 months ago and reportedly spent five months in an Albanian prison. He was released by a judge earlier today; however, police reportedly re-detained him the moment he left the courthouse. He is now being taken to the Rinas International Airport for deportation to Turkey.
This is not the first time Turkish nationals are detained in foreing countries at Turkey request.
Albanian police detain Turkish refugee claimant at Turkey's request. He is now being held at the Rinas International Airport for deportation to Turkey. He is belived to be detained upon a request by the Turkish gov't over his links to the Gülen group | https://t.co/613CoktiSM pic.twitter.com/RsY7CEVjNp
— Turkey Purge (@TurkeyPurge) January 1, 2020