Turkey has adopted a new thuggish tactic in persecuting its critics and opponents abroad, the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) said in a recent report, elaborating on the methods Turkish government has been using to this end.
Abductions, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial renditions, and profiling and harassment of expatriates are among the ways Turkish government institutions as well as affiliated clandestine groups are employing abroad, SCF said.
Documenting the steps that paved the way for Malaysia’s forced return of Gulen movement followers to Turkey, SCF underscored that this persecution is personally sanctioned by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who stated that “no country in the world would be safe for members of the Gülen sympathizers.
The three Turkish nationals — Turgay Karaman, İhsan Aslan and İsmet Özçelik– were detained by Malaysian officials in Kuala Lumpur and deported back to Turkey despite international calls over torture risk the trio have been facing, last week. The three were taken into custody upon their arrivals in Ankara as part of investigations into the Gulen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
The extradition of the trio came only months after Malaysia deported another two Gulen-linked Turkish nationals who were also arrested upon their return to Turkey.
SCF said institutions affiliated with the Gülen Movement in Malaysia were earlier physically harassed while many have had their passports cancelled by the government over Gulen links.
“Turkish ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, are constantly demanding from the Malaysian government that” the school where Gulen followers work as teachers but nothing else should be closed.
The “Turkish House” signboard on the garden gate of the building that housed Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Malaysian–Turkish Dialogue Society was vandalized and destroyed by unknown people, SCF said.
“Meanwhile, the building and its employees started to be monitored by operatives linked to the Turkish government.”
However, the Malaysian government has turned a blind eye to the clandestine activities of the Turkish government on Malaysian territory and in some cases even aided and abetted the arbitrary detention, abduction, and extraordinary rendition requests made by Erdoğan, SCF further stated.
Turkish consulates in Malaysia also refuse service to Gulen followers, SCF said adding that the movement suffers the same fate in Indonesia as well.
Y.S., a biology teacher in Jakarta, went to the embassy for a transaction and his passport was confiscated.