Businessman fleeing persecution in Turkey dies in Sarajevo public park

Recep Güneş

Recep Güneş, a Turkish businessman who sought asylum in Bosnia after fleeing the Turkish government’s post-coup purge, died on Monday at a public park in the foothills of Mount Igman on the outskirts of Sarajevo, several media outlets reported.

The cause of death is unknown.

Güneş’s assets were reportedly seized by the Turkish government, and he has been sought in Turkey over alleged links to the Gülen movement. Güneş reportedly fled Turkey soon after the coup attempt and has been seeking legal protection in Bosnia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

Take a second to support SCF on Patreon!