A Turkish-born restaurant owner, named Ali Sipahi, was detained at Guarulhos International airport in Sao Paolo on Apr 5, at Turkish government’s request.

Local media reported Friday that Sipahi was detained when he was travelling back from the US along with his family.

Sipahi, a Turkish-born Brazilian national who has been living in this country since 2007, is wanted by Turkey for his alleged ties to the Gulen movement.

Media reported that the businessman is set to stand trial for deportation on May 3.

The Turkish government holds the movement responsible for a coup attempt in July 2016 and is pursuing a massive witch-hunt against its supporters at home and abroad on charges of coup involvement and terrorism, calling it a terrorist organization. The movement denies involvement in the abortive putsch or to terrorist acts.

More than 150,000 people have been detained and 90,000 were remanded in prison over Gulen links in Turkey since the failed attempt. Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip 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.


Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court ordered Tuesday the release of a Brazil-based Turkish businessman who was arrested over links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, AFP reported May 8.