Turkish spy agency captures six FETÖ-linked suspects with help of Kosovo

Turkish spy agency captures six FETÖ-linked suspects with help of Kosovo

Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
Turkish spy agency captures six FETÖ-linked suspects with help of Kosovo

Turkey’s intelligence agency has brought six people suspected of links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) from Kosovo to Turkey in an operation carried out with the cooperation of the former’s spy agency, the Hürriyet Daily News learned from security sources on March 29.

All six suspects were detained by Kosovo law enforcement early March 29 as a result of cooperation between the relevant government offices of the two countries and were handed at the airport to a special team deployed to Pristina by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

The suspects were later brought back to Istanbul on a special jet and were detained by the Turkish police March 29. They are accused of being members of FETÖ, blamed for the July 2016 coup attempt that left more than 250 dead and thousands injured. It is believed that thousands of FETÖ-linked high-level military and civilian bureaucrats as well as other people have fled Turkey before and after the coup attempt.

Turkey has long been exerting efforts for the extradition of these people, including FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen who is in self-exile in the United States, from all over the world. A few hundreds of FETÖ-linked suspects have already been brought back to Turkey as a result of political and intelligence cooperation with countries such as Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

“This marks the first ever operation that resulted in bringing back FETÖ suspects to Turkey from the Balkans and the European continent. The message is clear that these regions are no longer a safe haven for the FETÖ fugitives,” sources said.

Citing good level of intelligence cooperation with Kosovo, the source recalled high-level dialogue between the justice and foreign ministries of these two countries in the accomplishment of this operation.

The suspects that have been caught are Cihan Özkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina. They were allegedly tasked to run FETÖ’s activities in the Balkans and to organize the smuggling of FETÖ members in Turkey to Europe and the U.S.