Six Turkish nationals arrested in Kosovo over links to schools financed by the Fethullah Gulen movement that orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey have been extradited to Turkey.
Turkish intelligence officers on Thursday brought six alleged senior Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members back to Turkey following operations against the terror group’s branch in the Balkans, according to security sources.
In cooperation with Kosovar intelligence, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) arrested the six men, who were said to be in charge of getting FETO members out of Turkey to go to Europe and the US, alongside their activities in the Balkans.
The group brought back to Turkey by a private plane, is made up of Cihan Ozkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Huseyin Gunakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya, and Yusuf Karabina, all wanted in Turkey as FETO fugitives.
Once in Turkey, the alleged FETO members were handed over to the judiciary, the Anadolu Agency reported.
Security units earlier found that Ozkan allegedly managed group's fundraising in Balkan countries and transferred the money to the US state of Pennsylvania, where Gulen has lived for decades.
Demirez, allegedly in charge of FETO’s youth branch in Kosovo, is said to have recruited members for the terror group in the Balkans.
Gunakan was allegedly in charge of teachers working in FETO-linked schools in the region.
Karakaya is alleged to have played an active role in the Ergenekon case, an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the Turkish government. He is also said to have forged documents for the benefit of FETO, and to have gotten a plaque from Gulen for this work.
Others brought back to Turkey were said to be senior members in charge of FETO infiltration of various institutions and organizations in the Balkans.
Turkey is a major supporter of impoverished Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and Turkish firms run the tiny Balkan country's sole airport and electricity network, and are building two highways worth around $2 billion.
In Sarajevo, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said after a meeting with his Bosnian counterpart that more action should be taken against Gulen's followers there, "especially in the sectors of education and business, and (we) want (Bosnia's) continuous support for the solution of this problem."
Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said his country would continue to cooperate with Turkey to prevent "any activity that may endanger Bosnia's stability or its relations with Turkey."
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, which left 250 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.