Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) has set up a special unit to track down the overseas supporters of the movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency confirmed on Monday.
“MIT [Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency] established a special unit for FETÖ members who are already based abroad or who have fled Turkey,” Anadolu said.
In a reported titled “FETÖ’s ‘money safe’ was brought back to Turkey with MIT operation,” Anadolu underlined that businessman Memduh Çıkmaz has been forced back from Sudan by this special unit.
Çıkmaz was detained in Sudan and jailed pending trial in Turkey over ties to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
The government calls the movement FETÖ, short for the alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization while the movement denies terror and coup accusations.
MIT located Çıkmaz’s place in Sudan and the businessman was detained as part of a joint operation between MIT and Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Anadolu said and added: “MIT’s special team brought Çıkmaz back to Turkey immediately after his [departure] process in Sudan was completed, in the wee hours.”
Turkey has already detained more than 120,000 people over their alleged or real ties to the movement at home before spreading its crackdown to overseas. More than a dozen Turkish nationals with links to the movement were deported from several countries to Turkey where most of them have been held in in pre-trial detention since.
Pro-gov’t journalist says gov’t allocated substantial budget for MIT operatives
Earlier, Cem Küçük, a staunchly pro-government journalist who is known for his attacks on government critics on social media, has said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has established a special unit to bring Gülen followers who fled the country in the wake of a government crackdown on the movement back to Turkey.
“The state has established a special unit and allocated a sizeable budget to bring FETÖ sympathizers abroad back here through ‘all means.’ Oh man-slayer FETÖ sympathizers, we know where each and every one of you are. You will be taken from your warm beds one day and packed up like [jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah] Öcalan,” Küçük wrote in a series of messages from his Twitter account on Wednesday.