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WARNING AGAINST SENIOR TURKISH AIDE’S ABDUCTION THREATS IN US

On September 25, 2018 Erdogan’s Long Arms Aiming to Reach US Territory

Turkey Seeks to Target Erdogan Opponents on US Soil

Turkey’s long-running campaign to target and capture political opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan living abroad has taken a new turn after his spokesman threatened to conduct operations in the U.S., similar to the ones which took place in Moldova, Ukraine, Kosovo, Malaysia, Gabon and a number of other countries.

Ankara’s indulgence in risky and bold operations, in clear disregard and violation of international norms, have already aroused controversy and a state of tension with its allies and the countries where such kidnappings or captures occurred. As recently as in September, the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) snatched a group of Turkish teachers critical of the Erdogan government from Moldova after collaboration with the local security agency.

Almost all incidents, without an exception, have stirred political controversy and intense partisan bickering among political parties within countries where Ankara’s long arms involved in controversial security operations to target opponents, mostly affiliated with Gulen Movement, a banned civil society group in Turkey.

Turkey’s assertive and robust push to get Gulen-linked people shows no signs of receding. And after Ibrahim Kalin, President Erdogan’s spokesman, stepped in to declare that Turkey may conduct similar operations on the U.S. soil as well, things would stumble into an uncharted territory and would inject a new layer of uncertainty into an already perilous and tense relationship between the two NATO allies.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara in late September, Kalin vowed that the Turkish government would never relent its campaign against Gulen people. “They will feel Turkey breathing down their neck,” he said.

He went on to say: “Relevant units and institutions will continue their operations in countries where Gulen Movement operates, whether in the U.S. or another country. The Turkish Republic will not let them rest.”

Turkey’s authorities describe the Gulen Movement as a terrorist organization and ascribe the blame for the abortive 2016 coup to the movement, without offering a convincing evidence.

The presence of Fethullah Gulen, the inspired leader of the movement, in the U.S. territory remains a lasting source of friction between Ankara and Washington. Turkey’s numerous attempts and endless demands for the extradition of Gulen from the U.S. have yielded no result so far today. Although Ankara sent countless boxes of documents and dossiers supposedly containing evidence to Washington, the U.S. authorities did not budge their position.

The U.S. officials say Turkey has yet to offer tangible evidence linking Gulen to the coup.

While Turkey’s relentless pursuit of Gulen people in countries with weak rule of law and corrupt governments is a well-known phenomenon, the hint from a senior aide to Erdogan about a potential attempt to snatch people linked with the movement from the U.S. soil is a first of its kind.

This evidently illustrates the zeal and ambition of the Turkish government to get their opponents from anywhere else with little regard for diplomatic ramifications. It also clearly reveals that Ankara, otherwise unanimously and collectively condemned and pressured by its Western allies, would never abate its operations to target Gulen people, even in the U.S.

Kalin’s threat comes on the heels of an ongoing dispute regarding the continuing imprisonment of a U.S. pastor in Turkey. Erdogan already unveiled his plan for a potential prisoner swap to get Gulen back to Turkey in exchange of Pastor Andrew Brunson. But his proposal was bluntly rebuffed by the U.S. officials in 2017.

Kalin’s remarks appear as no mere speculation or wishful thinking. Rather, his statement points to the existence of determination and a certain course of policy on behalf of the Turkish government to haunt Gulen sympathizers in the U.S.

In 2017, the U.S. prosecutors revealed a scheme involving Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor of President Donald J. Trump, to spirit Gulen away from the U.S. territory. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, former Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Turkish envoy to the U.S. and a former CIA chief were also present during the discussion of a plan to smuggle Gulen. Flynn also lobbied on behalf of Ankara for the extradition of Gulen.

Against this backdrop, Kalin’s threatening remarks have taken a special meaning and context. The Turkish government has already expertly versed in the business of overseas operations to capture Erdogan’s opponents. The U.S. authorities should keep an eye on this possibility and would remain alarmed in the face of threats for conducting similar operations on the U.S. soil.

We write you to emphasize our great concern about such threats and urge the U.S. authorities to seek clarification from the Turkish administration over Kalin’s threatening remarks. In this respect, the State Department may summon the Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. to demand further elaboration and elucidation of Kalin’s remarks.

Separately, we request from the U.S. law enforcement agencies to pay extra attention to the situation and keep a closer eye on any suspicious moves or acts of pro-Erdogan Turks living in the U.S. with regard to the security and wellbeing of Gulen Movement sympathizers across the U.S.

Download this statement as a word document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Warning-Against-Senior-Turkish-Aide’s-Abduction-Threats-in-US.docx

We request from the U.S. authorities to pay extra attention to this situation in the U.S. with regard to the security and wellbeing of Gulen Movement sympathizers across the U.S.

Download the sample letter for your local authorities as a word document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Senator-Letter.docx

You can find your U.S Senator from the link below.

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

You can find your U.S Representatives from the link below.

https://www.house.gov/representatives

We also request from the U.S. law enforcement agencies to pay extra attention to the situation and keep a closer eye on any suspicious moves or acts of pro-Erdogan Turks living in the U.S. with regard to the security and wellbeing of Gulen Movement sympathizers across the U.S.

Download the sample letter for your local Law Enforcement authorities as a word document:

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/To-Law-Enforcement-Officials.docx

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1)Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 (202) 612-6700
Email: embassy.washingtondc@mfa.gov.tr
Twitter: @TurkishEmbassy
Website: http://washington.emb.mfa.gov.tr/Mission

2) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

3) U.S. Department of State
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

4) Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
Phone: 202-456-6213
Email: vice.president@whitehouse.gov
Twitter: @VP

5) Senator Cory Booker
Phone: (202) 224-3224
Fax: (202) 224-8378
Email: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
Twitter:@SenBooker

6)Human Rights Watch U.S.
Phone: +1-212-290-4700
Email: hrwpress@hrw.org
Website: https://www.hrw.org/united-states

7) Dana Tyrone Rohrabacher, House of Representatives
Phone: (202) 225-2415
Twitter: @RepRohrabacher, @DanaRohrabacher
Email: https://rohrabacher.house.gov/contact

News articles on the raid:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/turkey-will-conduct-operations-against-erdogan-s-enemies-u-s-n912996

https://dailycaller.com/2018/09/24/erdogan-operations-america/

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-us/turkish-presidents-spokesman-threatens-operations-against-opponents-us-soil

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1022726/turkey-news-Recep-Tayyip-Erdogan-Fethullah-Gulen-FETO-Ibrahim-Kalin-pensylvania-USA

https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/09/23/turkey-says-operations-targeting-gulen-movement-could-extend-to-us/

https://theregion.org/article/13128-turkey-threatens-to-target-dissidents-abroad-039-anytime-anywhere-039

Ibrahim Kalin’s threatening video

Ibrahim Kalin’s threatening video

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Mustafa Ceyhan Abducted in Front of the Courthouse

Mustafa Ceyhan is a businessman from Turkey who resides in Georgia with his family under UN protection. He visited Azerbaijan from Batumi (Georgia) on 4/20/2017 for a business trip. Once he entered Azerbaijan, he was unjustly arrested on charges of illegally crossing the border to Azerbaijan.

On April 26th, Ceyhan was brought before court in Baku. The trial date was rescheduled to an earlier date, and happened without a notice to his lawyers. His lawyer, Tural Emenov and another lawyer appointed by the United Nation found out about the trial and accompanied him. The judge acquitted him from charges pressed against him.

Ceyhan’s wife, Meryem Ceyhan indicated that as Ceyhan was leaving the court around 12:00 PM, he was abducted in front of the courthouse by a group of eight men in a black Range Rover with black tinted windows. His whereabouts are unknown since then. His family and friends are worried about his condition and fear that he may be illegally sent back to Turkey where he faces risks of torture and ill-treatment.

Ceyhan’s lawyers called the United Nations mission in Baku, Azerbaijan and requested assistance, however, representatives there told them that they could not do anything. They told them to deal with it on their own.

The Turkish government had accused Ceyhan of having ties to the Gulen Movement (also known as Hizmet Movement) and appealed to Azerbaijan to extradite Ceyhan. Alleged supporters of the Movement in Turkey have been dealing with arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, confiscation and passport seizure. There are many examples of abductions and physical violence incidents in several countries like Sudan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Georgia, Myanmar, Malaysia and most recently in Kosovo. President Erdogan has on numerous occasions explicitly praised the abductions and promised more abduction in near future.

We encourage members of the media to contact Mustafa Ceyhan’s Lawyer, Tural Emenov from his phone number, +994554480700.

We urge international bodies and human rights organizations to take all necessary steps to find Mustafa Ceyhan and prevent his extradition to Turkey.

For more detailed information about these risks supporters of the Gulen Movement experience, please look at the report prepared by the Advocates of Silenced Turkey on the current and possible threats supporters of the Gulen Movement face abroad titled “I Cannot Say We Are Absolutely Safe Even Abroad.”

Download the report as pdf: https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AST_Report_Threats_Gulen-Movement.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following relevant individuals and organizations.

Download sample statement as a word document: AST_letter_Mustafa Ceyhan

1) Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
Email: office@pa.gov.az
Fax: (0099412) 492 35 43, 492 06 25
Twitter: @presidentaz
Website: https://en.president.az/administration/contacts

2) Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States
Email: elinsuleymanov@yahoo.com, azerbaijan@azembassy.us
Phone: (202) 337-3500
Fax: (202) 337-5911
Twitter: @ElinSuleymanov
Website: http://washington.mfa.gov.az/content/6

3) U.S. Embassy Baku
Phone: 994 12 488-3300
Fax: 994 12 488-3330
Twitter: @USEmbassyBaku

4) U.S. Department of State
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

5) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

6) Human Rights Watch
Twitter: @hrw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsWatch
NY Address:350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

Emma Daly, Communications Director
Tel: +1-212-216-1835
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

7) Human Rights Foundation
Twitter: @HRF
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsfoundation/
New York Address:350 5th Ave., #4515 New York, NY, 10001
Phone Number: (212) 246-8486

8) Freedom House
Twitter: @FreedomHouseDC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomHouseDC
info@freedomhouse.org
Phone: 202-296-5101
Fax: 202-293-2840

Annie Boyajian, Advocacy Manager
boyajian@freedomhouse.org

6) Amnesty International
Twitter: @amnestyusa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa
report@aiusa.org

7) International Federation for Houman Rights
Twitter: @fidh_en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FIDH.HumanRights
FIDH AT THE UN (NEW-YORK)
110 East 42nd street, Suite 1309 NY 10017 New-York
Phone Number: 001 646 395 7103

9) International Court of Justice
Email: information@icj-cij.org
Phone: (+31) 70 302 23 23
Fax: (+31) 70 364 99 28
Twitter: @CIJ_ICJ
Website: http://www.icj-cij.org/en

NEWS ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:

“‘Gülenist’ businessman abducted under eyes of UN-appointed lawyers in Baku”
http://turkeypurge.com/another-gulenist-businessman-abducted-in-baku-claim

“Turkish businessman affiliated with Gülen movement abducted in Baku”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-businessman-affiliated-with-gulen-movement-abducted-in-baku/

“Mustafa Ceyhan, a Turkish citizen of Azerbaijan, was detained in custody – the FETO accusation”
http://ovqat.com/kriminal/19646-turkiynin-azrbaycandan-istdiyi-mustafa-ceyhan-hbsd-saxlanld-feto-ittiham.html

“Bir ‘siyah transporter’ vakası daha: ‘Bakü’de Mustafa Ceyhan kaçırıldı'” (TURKISH)
https://ahvalnews.com/tr/kacirilma/bir-siyah-transporter-vakasi-daha-bakude-mustafa-ceyhan-kacirildi

TWEETS ON THIS SUBJECT:

FACEBOOK POSTS ON THIS SUBJECT:

 

 

 

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STATEMENT ON MISSING TEACHERS IN AFGHANISTAN

The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghan intelligence agency, abducted four teachers including one Afghan and three Turkish nationals from one of the schools run by the Afghan Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE) on 12 December 2017. Families and friends of the teachers have indicated they are very much worried that there has not been any sign regarding their whereabouts. The ATCE was founded by Gulen inspired Turkish businessmen and teachers and has been running several schools in different cities of Afghanistan since 1995. Despite all the difficulties in the region, the ATCE has continued to maintain its services believing that education is the only way to overcome those difficulties.

Former Deputy Minister of Education, Sediq Patman classified the situation as “politically motivated and unethical.” Former NDS chief has also defined the move as unprecedented in recent years, also as a shameful act for the government. According to former government officials, the raid by the NDS was illegal in the sense that the security forces have been used by the government leaders for political objectives. Despite these statements, there has not been an official comment on the incidence, neither by the government nor the intelligence agency.

Moreover, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani traveled to Istanbul a day before the incidence (12/11/17) to attend a summit organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Ministry of Education said, “it was satisfied with the functioning of these schools, but decision on their fate rested with President Ghani.” Reportedly few days before the operation, the Turkish government announced arrest warrant on teachers’ name for taking part in the so-called coup attempt. Documents indicate that the UN has provided asylum protection to one of the abducted teachers and asked authorities not to extradite him to Turkey.

The operation against the ATCE is part of a Turkish campaign against the followers of Fethullah Gulen who is a Turkish cleric which lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He promotes a moderate form of Islam, supports inter-faith communication and inspires to promote education in different parts of the world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses him of orchestrating the failed coup-attempt. Mr. Gulen has strongly been denying all the allegations.

As the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we strongly ask the government of Afghanistan to step back and release the teachers immediately. We also invite all international organizations and everyone caring about human rights and fundamental freedoms to speak out to create awareness and also to take urgent action against such an abduction towards the teachers as it violates many human rights enshrined by international human rights law. Number of cases of illegal abductions committed at the request of the Turkish government have been increasing day by day. The situation is likely to get worse if we do not protect the victims. Therefore, we lastly urge President Erdogan to stop resorting to illegal ways to clampdown innocent people.

Download as pdf: AST_Statement_Teachers_in_Afghanistan

Please send a letter to your representatives, relevant individuals or organization regarding the illegal abductions of members of Gulen Movement. A letter sample is attached as a word document: AST_Letter_Urgent Appeal regarding Turkish Teachers in Afghanistan

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CCTV shows school principal being ‘abducted’ as post-coup crackdown in Turkey spreads to Malaysia

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/turkish-principal-men-abducted-malaysia-kuala-lumpur-turgay-karaman-ihsan-aslan-gulen-hizmet-coup-a7716376.html

Turgay Karaman, a school principal in Malaysia, was abducted by four people in plain clothes and is the latest in a string of international arrests allegedly ordered by Turkey in a post-coup crackdown that has seen more than 100,000 people detained. Human Rights Watch urged authorities not deport the Turkish nationals to Turkey, as they would likely face torture if they are extradited, and called for an urgent investigation.
 

 

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