Turkey Claims to Have ‘Captured’ Cleric’s Relative in Kenya

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ISTANBUL — Turkey’s intelligence service claims it has “captured” a Turkish citizen accused of hyperlinks to a cleric they are saying orchestrated a failed coup, and brought him from his dwelling in Kenya to Turkey, the state-run Anadolu information company reported Monday.

The person, Selahaddin Gulen, is reported to be the nephew of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher based mostly in the US who’s accused of orchestrating a coup towards President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

Mr. Erdogan confronted down the coup try and cracked down arduous within the aftermath, imposing a state of emergency for 2 years, detaining 100,000 folks and purging 150,000 public staff from their jobs.

Greater than 8,000 army personnel have been prosecuted for his or her half within the revolt.

Overseas, the crackdown has concerned the pressured renditions of 100 or extra Gulen supporters and the closing of dozens of faculties run by his motion.

Academics and directors of a number of the faculties have been extradited or deported with the cooperation of some international locations, however Turkey was additionally prevented from transporting a Turkish educator from Mongolia in 2018.

Turkish officers pressured international locations together with Kenya to shut Gulen-backed personal faculties, that are in main cities together with Nairobi and Mombasa. Whereas the Kenyan authorities didn’t shut down the faculties, the strain was indicative of Mr. Erdogan’s affect and the way far he would go to interrupt up the Gulen motion.

Relations between Kenya and Turkey have strengthened previously decade, with the 2 international locations signing agreements in safety and technical cooperation. In 2020, commerce quantity between the 2 international locations grew to $251 million, in response to the Turkish overseas ministry.

Mr. Gulen was residing in Kenya and was preventing a authorized battle to keep away from deportation by the Kenyan authorities.

He disappeared a number of weeks in the past, at the same time as his authorized case was nonetheless earlier than the courts.

It was not the primary time that Turkish safety businesses have detained somebody in Kenya. In 1999, Turkish intelligence, with the assistance of American and Kenyan safety officers, captured the Kurdish insurgent chief Abdullah Ocalan and took him again to Turkey.

It was unclear what position Kenya performed, if any, within the seize of Mr. Gulen.

In a video shared online, his spouse, Seriyye Gulen, mentioned she had been residing in Kenya since final November and that she final noticed her husband on Might 3. She mentioned she believed he was “kidnapped and brought to Turkey on Might 5.”

Citing safety sources, the Anadolu information company mentioned that Turkey’s Nationwide Intelligence Group, MIT, captured Mr. Gulen overseas and introduced him to Turkey. The report mentioned Mr. Gulen was associated to folks within the FETO motion. FETO is an acronym for the Gulen motion utilized by the Turkish authorities.

The information company supplied no additional particulars, though Mr. Erdogan had mentioned on Might 19 that Turkey had captured a senior member of the Gulen motion.

“Quickly we’ll announce an necessary identify from the FETO workforce too,” Mr. Erdogan mentioned, talking to children in Turkey’s Nationwide Youth and Sports activities Day. “He’s in our fingers proper now.’’

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