Turgay Karaman, İhsan Aslan and İsmet Özçelik, the three Turkish nationals who were deported to back home by Malaysian officials despite international calls over torture risk have been taken into custody.
The trio, detained over their alleged links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Malaysia were deported to Turkey on Thursday night, Malay police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said on Twitter.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, the three were taken to Ankara Police Headquarters for interrogation on May 12 as they had had arrest warrants as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia earlier shared their concerns over the possibility that Malay officials are going after Turkish nationals at Turkey’s request, calling on the country to refrain from extradition.
Malay officials were also criticised for the way the Turks were detained in the first place. Karaman was forced into a car by unidentified men in plain clothes, at a parking lot in Kuala Lumpur on May 2. Family members were later told that Karaman had been detained.
The school Karaman was working was founded by Gülen followers while İhsan Aslan is a member of the Malaysian-Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a Gülen-linked business association based in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Özcelik is a former board member at Mevlana University which was closed over Gülen links in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Previously, in October 2016, two other Turkish nationals were detained in Malaysia and were deported the following day. Both men were arrested upon their return to Turkey where they remain under arrest.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier called on foreign governments to punish Gülen followers in their own countries. Only a few countries including Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have complied with the request so far.