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

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 house in Kenya to Turkey, the state-run Anadolu information company reported Monday.

The man, Selahaddin Gulen, is reported to be the nephew of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher primarily based in the United States who’s accused of orchestrating a coup once more President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

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

More than 8,000 army personnel had been prosecuted for his or her half in the rebellion.

Abroad, the crackdown has concerned the compelled renditions of 100 or extra Gulen supporters and the closing of dozens of colleges run by his motion.

Teachers 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. While the Kenyan authorities didn’t shut down the colleges, the stress was indicative of Mr. Erdogan’s affect and the way far he would go to break up the Gulen motion.

Relations between Kenya and Turkey have strengthened in the previous 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, according to the Turkish foreign ministry.

Mr. Gulen was dwelling 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, whilst his authorized case was nonetheless earlier than the courts.

It was not the primary time that Turkish safety companies have detained an opposition determine 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, in the seize of Mr. Gulen.

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

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

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

“Soon we will announce an important name from the FETO team too,” Mr. Erdogan stated, talking to kids in Turkey’s National Youth and Sports Day. “He is in our arms proper now.’’

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