Kosovo grants asylum to Turkish educator who escaped MİT abduction attempt

Uğur Toksoy, a Turkish national allegedly affiliated with the Gülen movement, was granted asylum in Kosovo after escaping an attempted abduction by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) in Kosovo.

Toksoy, a Turkish teacher at the Gülen-affiliated Hasan Nahi school in Prizren and head of the Atmosfera Association in Kosovo, is reportedly being sought by the Turkish government over his alleged links to the Gülen movement. Facing the risk of extradition by the Kosovar government, Toksoy reportedly submitted an asylum request on November 3, 2017 and was granted it on March 28, almost a week after six Turkish nationals were abducted by MİT agents in Kosovo and removed to Turkey on March 29.

According to Adelina Sfishta, Toksoy’s house was also raided by Turkish intelligence agents, yet he managed to escape the attempted abduction as he was not home that day.

If he had been caught, he would have been among the six Turkish nationals — Cihan Özkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina — who were rendered to Turkey by MİT in a private aircraft .

So far, a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia, Pakistan, Sudan and Myanmar have handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the United Nations.

A 28-page report issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in late March 2018 exposed the details of torture cases in Turkey last year and called on the Turkish government to enforce its proclaimed policy of zero tolerance for torture.

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 Erdoğan 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 other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. On December 13, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.” (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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