A recent video recording submitted to Turkey Purge shows that Malaysia has been detaining Turks in the country at the request of Turkish government.
Malay police detained three Turkish nationals over their alleged links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), last week. The detainees included Turkish academic İsmet Özçelik who had been briefly imprisoned also in mid-December 2016 and released in January, this year.
Malaysia’s police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters that Turks were arrested without any request from the Turkish government.
However, a recent video filmed when Malay immigration officials in plainclothes raided the house of academic İsmet Özçelik to take him into custody on Dec. 13, 2016 shows that the request had been made by Turkish authorities.
“[Turkish] embassy kindly informs you that the Turkish passport of Mr. Özçelik who is a member of terrorist organization FETÖ was invalidated on August 22, 2016 and is no longer valid. Details…of the passport are provided below,” one of Özçelik’s family members is heard reading out the document in officials’ hand during the arrest. Turkey Purge blurred the video recording in order to protect the safety of Özçelik’s family members. Turkish government labels the movement as a terrorist organization in a deregatory term FETÖ, short for alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization.
Even though there was no arrest warrant issued for him, Özçelik was detained with only a request from Turkish embassy in Malaysia, his friend repeats during the video.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia called on Malay officials to refrain from extradition as the detainees are affiliated with the Gulen movement, which the government has launched a sweeping witch hunt against, accusing the group of being behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Already detained more than 120,000 people with alleged or real ties to the movement, Turkish government earlier asked foreign governments to go after Gülen followers in their own countries.
Previously, in October 2016, two other Turkish nationals were detained in Malaysia and were deported to Turkey the following day.