Kosovo parliament to probe arrests of six Gülen-linked suspects

Kosovo parliament to probe arrests of six Gülen-linked suspects

PRISTINA – Reuters
Kosovo parliament to probe arrests of six Gülen-linked suspects

Kosovo’s Parliament voted on April 4 to set up a committee to investigate how six Turkish citizens were arrested and deported to Turkey last week, a move that activists say violated human rights.

The six Turkish nationals were arrested in Kosovo at Turkey’s request over alleged links to schools financed by the Gülen movement, widely believed to have orchestrated the failed 2016 coup attempt.

Last week, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj sacked his interior minister and country’s secret service chief for failing to inform him about the arrests.

Haradinaj, who described the arrests as a “mistake,” has ordered a separate investigation.

Avdullah Hoti, head of the lawmakers from the opposition party the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) that initiated the emergency session in the 120-seat parliament, said he was “shocked” by the arrests of the six teachers and managers at schools.

“Instead of being interviewed by authorities in Pristina, they were urgently deported to Turkey,” Hoti said.

Ankara accuses the six of being recruiters for a network run by the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, and said they had helped people accused of connections to the network to leave Turkey.

Ankara has long been exerting efforts for the extradition of Gülen-linked people from all over the world. A few hundreds of the movement have already been brought back to Turkey as a result of political and intelligence cooperation with countries such as Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Speaking in a live television interview on April 4, Haradinaj said he had spoken to Washington and the European Union, its two main economic and political supporters, about the incident.

“I have assured the EU and Washington that this was a mistake and an accident and I have asked them for their understanding and help to fix this,” Haradinaj told private Dukagjini television.

Kosova, FETÖ, suspects,