Turkey seeks extradition of 1000 people in Nigeria as part of its post-coup crackdown against the Gulen movement, local media reported on Monday.
Turkish authorities have asked their Nigerian counterparts to extradite more than 1000 people over their links to the Gulen movement while the African country denied the request, according to media.
“There was the request for the extradition of some of the Turks in Nigeria who have been given asylum and recognized by the United Nations as political refugees and the Turkish government requested that we extradite some of them,” Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama told reporters over the weekend. The request was revealed during Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s 4-day visit to Turkey.
“There was also the request that the schools and hospitals established by Gülen Movement should be closed in Nigeria. They now labelled Fethulah’s [movement] as a terrorist organization.”
Following media reports over whether Nigeria would honor the request, the ministry underlined in a statement that the African country guarantees full protection for legal residents.
“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to some media reports credited to the Honourable Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, implying that 1000 Turkish nationals face extradition from Nigeria at the request of the Turkish government. …For the avoidance of doubt, the ministry wishes to state in clear terms that no such agreement was entered into. Every individual of whatever nationality, legally residing in Nigeria is guaranteed full protection under Nigerian and international laws.”
Turkish government blames the Gulen movement for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement.
More than 126,000 people have been detained over ties to the movement in Turkey so far while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier called on foreign governments to punish Gulen followers in their own countries. Only a small group of countries, among them Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia, Pakistan and Myanmar, have complied with the request and extradited dozens of Gulenists back to Turkey.