More than 100 people were forcibly returned from abroad as part of the Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown against the Gulen movement, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Speaking to media on the second anniversary of the July 15, 2016 failed coup, Cavusoglu said the government rounded up over 100 such people abroad and brought them back to Turkey as part of investigations.
“We brought back several leading FETO members from abroad. It made it into the news on some occasions and didn’t on others. We didn’t speak about some of those in the media at the request of the countries they were brought from. We can say that we have brought back over 100 leading FETO members from several countries,” Cavusoglu said.
Pro-government Daily Sabah reported last week that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has located 4,600 suspected followers of the Gulen movement in 110 countries so far.
Turkish president Erdoğan accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 and calls it FETO [short for the alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] while the latter denies involvement in the coup and any terrorist activities.
More than 150,000 people have been detained and 90,000 were remanded in prison over Gulen links in Turkey since the summer of 2016. Meanwhile, 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.
On some occasions, Turkish intelligence agency was reported to have abducted the suspected Gulenists overseas despite rulings by local courts turning down Turkey’s requests for deportation.