Missing educator İnandı being held in Turkish Embassy in Bishkek, wife claims

The wife of educator Orhan İnandı who went missing in Bishkek on the evening of May 31 said on Sunday that her husband is currently being held at the the Turkish Embassy in Bishkek, and is being forced to sign a document renouncing his Kyrgyz citizenship, Turkish Minute reported.

İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat school network operating in Kyrgyzstan, went missing in Bishkek on Monday evening and is feared to have been abducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Subsequently, he will be taken him back to Turkey where he will face prosecution, Reyhan İnandı, the wife of the educator Orhan İnandı, said on a video she posted on Twitter.

On Friday, the HRF called on Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarovo to demand İnandı’s release and to “prevent his potential deportation under international law’s non-refoulement principle.”

The Sapat (formerly Sebat) network of educational institutions has been operating in Kyrgyzstan since 1992. The school network has been run by the Kyrgyz Republic since 2017. İnandı had been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1995 and had been president of the schools since 2001. He has been a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic since 2010. The Kyrgyz government had earlier denied the Turkish government’s request for İnandı’s extradition on terrorism charges.

İnandı left his house at around 8 p.m. on Monday for a meeting at a nearby café. He was last contacted by a friend at around 9 p.m. Attempts by his family to contact him all failed. İnandı’s Toyota Lexus was found parked in an area around eight kilometers from his house at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday. The car’s doors were open and its tires were flat. His family immediately notified the Kyrgyz police about the disappearance, demanding an urgent investigation into his whereabouts.

Kyrgyz President Japarovo on Tuesday ordered the State Committee for National Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to conduct an extensive search to locate İnandı. According to the statement of the local police, İnandı’s car was found with its doors open on June 1 at 4:20 AM local time. Police said that an investigation team comprising of experienced inspectors has been formed to locate İnandı.

“I have acquired information that my husband is being forcibly held in the Turkish Embassy. They are forcing Orhan İnandı to sign a paper renouncing his Kyrgyz citizenship. Subsequently, they will abduct him from Kyrgyzstan.  The current administration in Turkey has previously abducted educators and taken them back to Turkey on false accusations that they are terrorists. My dear Kyrgyz compatriots. Orhan İnandı is a Kyrgyz citizen. His heart is with the Kyrgyz people. I implore you to not let one of your fellow citizens be abducted to Turkey in such an inhumane manner,” Reyhan İnandı said in her statement.

Turkish Minute’s sources confirm the information given by Reyhan İnandı, as they, on the condition of anonymity, have stated that upon his initial abduction, İnandı was taken to the Turkish Embassy for interrogation, and a private jet is being kept ready for him in an unused hangar of the Bishkek airport. Sources say that due to the round the clock protests around the embassy that have begun right after İnandı went missing, his abductors have not been able to move the educator out of the premises.

Hundreds of students, activists and educators have started to keep watch at the doors of Turkish Embassy, to prevent possible attempts to spirit İnandı away. Upon searches conducted on the vehicles going in and out of the embassy, the Turkish diplomats halted the entry to and exit from the embassy.

Reyhan İnandı’s claims bring back the memory of the slain Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who went to the Saudi Embassy in İstanbul in October 2018 to deal with paperwork regarding his upcoming marriage, and had been attacked, killed, and dismembered by a team ordered to take him back to Saudi Arabia.

According to the sources of Turkish Minute, before İnandı went missing, a ten-man team from Turkey had arrived at Bishkek. They have met some mafia groups in the country and left, sources claim.

MİT has a history of working with mafia groups to render Gülen movement members from different countries. Mafia groups had kidnapped Gülenists from Kazakhstan, Moldova, Malaysia and several African countries and handed them over to MİT operatives.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Turkish intelligence has intensified its efforts to target dissidents abroad. Most recently a nephew living in Kenya of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen was abducted by Turkish spies and brought back to Turkey at the weekend, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

In a joint letter UN rapporteurs accused the Turkish government of engaging in the systematic practice of state-sponsored extraterritorial abductions and forcible returns to Turkey, with at least 100 Turkish nationals from multiple states including Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Gabon, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Pakistan removed to Turkey.

In a number of cases the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) concluded that the arrest, detention and forced transfer to Turkey of Turkish nationals were arbitrary and in violation of international human rights norms and standards.

A recent report by Freedom House on global transnational repression also revealed the intensity, geographic reach and suddenness of the Turkish government’s campaign targeting dissidents abroad, noting that Turkey has become number one among countries that have conducted renditions from host states since 2014.

According to the report, Ankara’s campaign has primarily targeted people affiliated with the Gülen movement, but the government has started applying the same tactics to Kurdish and leftist individuals living abroad.

The Freedom House report also indicated that the Turkish government has pursued its perceived enemies in at least 30 host countries spread across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia since the coup attempt.

According to recent official statements by its interior ministry, Turkey has sent 800 extradition requests to 105 countries since the attempt, and more than 110 alleged members of the movement have been brought back to Turkey as part of the government’s global campaign.

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