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03/06/2021 | Turkish spies reportedly kidnapped nephew of dissident cleric Fethullah Gülen in Kenya

Joseph Fitsanakis

TURKISH SPIES ALLEGEDLY KIDNAPPED a nephew of dissident cleric Fethullah Gülen in Kenya and forcibly transported him to Turkey, according to reports in Turkish media.

 

Citing “government sources”, Turkey’s state-owned news agency, Anadolu, said this week that Selahaddin Gülen had been “forcibly repatriated” to Turkey from abroad by officers of the National Intelligence Organization, known as MİT. But it did not specify when or where the alleged operation took place.

Subsequent reports suggested that Selahaddin Gülen’s wife, Serriye Gülen, posted a video on social media, in which she said the couple lived in Nairobi, Kenya, and that her husband, who worked as a school teacher, had disappeared on May 3. It was also reported that Gülen’s alleged kidnapping was soon afterwards confirmed by media outlets connected to the Gülen movement.

The Gülen movement consists of supporters of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who runs a global network of schools, charities and businesses from his home in the United States. The government of Turkey has designated Gülen’s group a terrorist organization and claims it was behind the failed 2016 coup against Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Ever since the failed coup, Erdoğan’s government has fired or imprisoned over 200,000 government employees, which it accuses of being “Gülenists”. The cleric, who lives in the US state of Pennsylvania, denies Erdoğan’s accusations.

It is not clear whether Gülen’s nephew was kidnapped in a cover operation, or whether he was delivered to the MİT by the Kenyan authorities. Since the failed 2016 coup, the Turkish government has pressured numerous countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa to arrest and extradite alleged Gülenists. Kenya has so far refused to take action against individuals and institutions that Ankara claims are connected to the Gülen movement.

It is worth noting that in 1999 the MİT carried out a controversial covert operation in Kenya, which resulted in the kidnapping of Kurdish separatist militant Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan, 74, is the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey and several other countries have designated a terrorist organization. He remains imprisoned to this day.

Intelnews.org (Estados Unidos)

 



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