Ukraine arrested key FETÖ suspect İnan for Ankara
KIEV - Agence France-Presse
Kiev’s security services picked up a Turkish blogger accused of having links to the network Ankara blames for a 2016 failed coup, Ukrainian police said on July 17.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency had reported on July 15 that Yusuf İnan was expelled from Ukraine as part of an operation by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) against a “terrorist group.”
İnan was a key suspect of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
According to the Turkish government, FETÖ and its United States-based leader Fethullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
Local police spokeswoman Olena Berezhna told AFP that İnan was arrested in the southern city of Mykolaiv “by the Ukrainian security service [SBU], who took him” elsewhere.
It was the latest covert overseas swoop against a suspected member of the Gülen network.
İnan, who fled Turkey after the failed coup in 2016, was accused of “trying to discredit some political figures and state officials in Turkey by carrying out a perception operation on social media,” state-run Anadolu Agency said.
He is also wanted in the western İzmir province for “being a member of an armed organization,” it said.
İnan is married to a Ukrainian woman and had a residence permit, Berezhna noted.
Authorities in Kiev have not yet confirmed the expulsion, and both the SBU and the Ukrainian prosecutor refused to respond to AFP’s requests for comment.
Ukrainian authorities have also declined to comment on what happened to Salih Zeki Yiğit, who was also detained in Ukraine and flown to Turkey last week.
It was far from the first time that MİT has conducted operations abroad aimed at bringing suspected Gülenists back to Turkey.
One alleged Gülen group member was flown from Azerbaijan by MİT last week.
In April, it flew three suspected members back to Turkey from the West African state of Gabon in a covert operation.
And in March, six Turkish nationals alleged to be Gülenists were extradited from Kosovo in a hugely contentious operation carried out by the Pristina interior ministry and MİT.
The operation sparked a crisis in Kosovo, with both the prime minister and president protesting that they were not informed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to hunt down Gülenists inside and outside Turkey, saying in April: “We will never allow those vile people to walk freely.”
A Turkish official said in April that 80 Gülenists had so far been returned to Turkey in such operations.