The Council of Europe has reportedly received a report that has researched the kidnapping program of the Turkish intelligence service, MIT.
The MIT has often being accused of targeting Gulenists living outside Turkey.
The research, dubbed #blacksitesturkey, was conducted in close co-operation by nine media outlets from different countries. The Le Monde from France, ZDF from Germany, El Pais from Spain, Haaretz from Israel were the prominent ones and were coordinated by the non-profit newsroom, Correctiv, a Germany-based organisation promoting investigative journalism.
According to an article on Correctiv’s website, Frederik Richter, a German investigative journalist and deputy editor of Correctiv, went to Strasbourg on the invitation of the Council of Europe to inform delegates from member states about the research, #blacksitesturkey.
The research covers the extent of an international hijacking program by MIT, targeting Gulen movement supporters, which the Turkish state blames for instigating and leading the coup attempt of July 2016.
According to the findings of the research, published on December 11, 2018, MIT does not only hijack alleged Gulenists from abroad but also kidnaps them in Turkey to be taken to extrajudicial detainment centres, dubbed Black Sites by the researchers.
The research extensively covers the kidnapping incidents from Kosovo and Malaysia with the accounts of eyewitnesses. Alluding to the ‘extraordinary renditions’ conducted by the CIA after 9/11, the research allegedly uncovers the models and names of the airplanes used by MIT in the renditions.
“Unlike the CIA and its ‘extraordinary rendition’ program set up after the 11 September 2001 terror attacks,” reads the final report, “Turkey makes no secret of its abductions.”
Including a quote from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying: “We will return to the country one by one those Gulenists who fled and now think they’re safe, and we will hand them over to our justice system.”
The researchers conducted interviews with two victims allegedly abducted in Turkey by MIT to be forced to cooperate. To verify their claims, the research team conducted cross-examinations and directed probing questions to them.
According to the research’s final report, both accounts seem to be credible. The final report touches on the Turkish government’s war on Gulenists, include a quote from Turkey’s economy minister, Nihat Zeybekci.
“We will punish them in a way they will beg us to slaughter them to stop their suffering. We will let them beg for death,” said Zeybekci, speaking just after the 2016 failed coup.
Although pro-government Turkish media outlets are leading a smear campaign against the research and its credibility, findings are taken seriously by the Council.