Turkish Citizen Reportedly Abducted In Tajikistan, Brought To Turkey

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Turkish media reports say a Turkish citizen who had resided in Tajikistan for 28 years was abducted by unknown individuals in Dushanbe on September 16 and forcibly taken to Turkey, where he is wanted for alleged links with the Gulen movement that is banned in Turkey.

For many years, Vural worked as a teacher in Tajikistan after studying English at Tajik State University in the Tajik capital. He later opened a restaurant, called Ozyurt, in Dushanbe. It was near the eatery that he was kidnapped by several people over the weekend, his relatives say.

Vural’s daughters, Sumeyra Nur and Yasemin Nur Vural, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, expressing concern for their father and asking for help to find him.

Earlier in July, another Turkish national, teacher Emsal Koc, who had been living in Tajikistan for 29 years, was abducted and brought to Turkey, where he is also accused of alleged ties with Gulen.

In another Central Asian country, Kyrgyzstan, a Turkish-Kyrgyz educator Orhan Inandi was abducted by Turkish agents in 2021 and brought to Turkey against his will in 2021.

In June this year, Inandi, who is a Kyrgyz-Turkish dual citizen, was handed 21 years in prison on charge of “establishing of an armed terrorist group.”

Turkish officials have called Inandi a top Central Asian leader of the Gulen movement, which is led by U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former close friend of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan before falling out of favor and becoming a rival.

Turkey considers the movement, known as Hizmet in Turkish, to be a terrorist organization, though it is mainly involved in educational activities and promoting civil society.

Turkey blames Gulen supporters for an attempted coup in 2016 that killed some 250 people. Turkey arrested tens of thousands of people while purging the civil service and military of people suspected of being loyal to Gulen. It has also had many so-called Gulenists living abroad extradited to face charges in Turkey.

Source : Rferl