Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pressed Beninese President Patrice Talon to take necessary steps to end the activities of followers of the Gülen movement in the West African country, Turkish media reports said.
Erdoğan met with Talon on Thursday at the presidential palace in Ankara. During their meeting, one of the major issues discussed was Gülen movement followers’ activities in Benin.
The Turkish president has been waging a war on Gülen followers within and without Turkey for the past several years, asking countries to close down Gülen-affiliated schools and institutions as well as detain and extradite teachers, businessmen and their families who sympathize with the movement.
Speaking at a joint press conference following their meeting, Erdoğan said, “I hope we get [the desired] results concerning removal of the FETÖ connections [a derogatory term coined by the government to refer to the Gülen movement] in Benin in the shortest possible time.”
Seven Turkish educators — Hasan Karacaoğlu, Hüseyin Bayraktar, Rıza Doğan, Feridun Tüfekçi, Yasin Öz and Müjdat Çelebi — were illegally detained in Moldova at the request of the Erdoğan regime. With the exception of Hüseyin Bayraktar, they applied for asylum in April 2018 and were expecting a response from Moldovan authorities this month.
In March 2018 the general director of the schools, Turgay Şen, was detained by Moldovan security forces upon the Turkish government’s request for extradition but was released without charges.
Another Turkish educator in Mongolia, Veysel Akçay, was detained in July of this year for extradition at the request of the Turkish government, but due to the intervention of Mongolian authorities and international pressure, he was released.
The Turkish government has launched both a domestic and a global crackdown against the Gülen movement, accusing it of orchestrating a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, although the movement strongly denied any involvement.
The Gülen movement has schools and universities in more than 160 countries. As a result of the global witch-hunt against the movement, more than 100 Gülen-linked Turkish nationals have been brought back to Turkey through intelligence operations and with the cooperation of other countries, including Kosovo, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Gabon, and Myanmar. (SCF with turkishminute.com)