An Istanbul court has ordered the arrest of six suspected senior members of what the authorities call the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), who had been brought back to Turkey from Kosovo in an intelligence agency operation in March, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 11.
The six suspects are reportedly accused of “international espionage” as well as “management of a terror organization.”
Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) officers brought the six suspects back to Turkey in a special jet after the operation.
The operation caused controversy and protests in Kosovo, with Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj saying he was not informed before it was carried out.
The suspects were detained by Kosovo law enforcement officials early on March 29 and were handed over at the airport to a special team deployed to Pristina by the MİT.
The movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, an ally turned nemesis of the government, is widely believed to have been behind Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt that left more than 250 dead and thousands injured.
Since the coup attempt Turkey has worked to extradite individuals abroad who it accuses of links to the movement, including Gülen himself.
Earlier this month, the MİT also brought three members of FETÖ from the Central African country Gabon to the Turkish capital Ankara, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed on April 7 that Turkey will “continue pursuing suspects” abroad.
“We will chase them no matter where they escape,” Erdoğan said at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) congress in the southwestern province of Denizli.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on April 5 that the MİT had captured 80 Turkish citizens suspected of links to FETÖ from 18 different countries to date.