Sudanese law enforcement detained Turkish businessman Memduh Çıkmaz at Turkey’s request as part of Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement. Çıkmaz was detained in the capital city of Khartoum on Wednesday and denied request to meet his lawyer and family members, according to Turkish media.
Once awarded by Turkey’s former President Abdullah Gül as the third highest tax payer in the central Anatolian province of Çorum, Çıkmaz has been under persecution over his alleged ties to the Gülen movement.
According to media, Turkey submitted the translation of a 500-page indictment to Sudan seeking Çıkmaz’s extradition. Family members are concerned over Çıkmaz’s medical condition as he must not eat fast food, meat and similar other foods as part of his dietary prescribed due to a protein-related disease, media said.
The family also urged international rights groups to call on Sudan not to deport Çıkmaz back to Turkey where he will face arrest and potential torture.
Turkey has already detained more than 120,000 people over their alleged or real ties to the movement at home before spreading its crackdown to overseas. More than a dozen Turkish nationals with links to the movement were deported from several countries to Turkey where most of them have been held in in pre-trial detention since.
A number of human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued statements in recent times, urging foreign governments to avoid extradition of people at Turkey’s requests.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch AKP government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip 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’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)