A TURKISH publisher has been arrested by Ankara on charges of terrorism after he was extradited from Azerbaijan.
İbrahim E., the former head of a printing house affiliated with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foe in Azerbaijan, was arrested in Ankara on Wednesday, following his extradition last week, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
İbrahim E. was brought to Istanbul accompanied by two Azerbaijani police officials via a charter flight, according to the agency.
Being referred to the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the Ankara Police Directorate for interrogation, he was arrested by an Ankara court after he testified before Adem Akıncı, a public prosecutor.
He is accused of being a member of the Gulen movement, which is labelled a terrorist organisation and has been blamed by Ankara for the failed coup of 2016. He was the printing press operator of the group’s newspaper in Azerbaijan, Hurriyet Daily reported.
The Caucasian country extradited Mehmet Gelen, another alleged member of the Gulen movement, in December, who was working as a teacher in Turkish schools in Azerbaijan. He was arrested trying to enter Belarus and deported back to Azerbaijan, Anadolu reported.
An Azeri judge turned down Turkey’s request for Gelen’s deportation but he was captured by local security forces and delivered to Turkish police, the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) reported.
After being charged with terrorism, he was then put on pre-trial detention in Ankara.
Last year in July, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said over 100 alleged members of the Gülen movement have been bust in recent years.
In many cases, Turkish nationals were abducted by Turkish intelligence in countries such as Ukraine, Kosovo, Pakistan, Malaysia, Gabon, and Mongolia, according to SCF.
In its 2019 world report, Human Rights Watch said Turkish agents cooperated with local security services to transfer targeted Turkish citizens to Turkey, where detentions and prosecutions were the order of the day.