Interpol removes Turkey from database for uploading Gulenist profiles

OLCAY DUZGUN TURKEY OUT

Members of the Turkish police escort suspects of the Gulen movement during nationwide operations, in Kayseri city, Turkey, 26 April 2017. According to reports on 26 April 2017, Turkey has conducted raids across the country, one of the largest operations in months, arresting over 800 people suspected of being connected to the movement loyal to US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen that lead to a failed coup in July 2016.

Interpol removes Turkey from database for uploading Gulenist profiles


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Ankara’s move to upload 60,000 ‘wanted’ supporters of the Gülenist movement on Interpol’s database has caused the suspension of Turkey’s use of the infrastructure, Hurriyet daily reports.

Interpol’s system of notices is used to issue international alerts for fugitives, suspected criminals, persons linked to or of interest in an ongoing criminal investigation, persons and entities subject to UN Security Council Sanctions, potential threats, missing persons and dead bodies. Details are stored in a database known as the INTERPOL Criminal Information System, which also contains personal data and the criminal history of people subject to a request for international police cooperation.

Turkey no longer has access to the database, as the use of Interpol’s infrastructure to prosecute 60,000 individuals with suspected links to what Turkish prosecutors consider a terrorist organization is seen as a “breach of trust.”

Turkey insists that there are years of legal investigation behind each name and the use of the database is legitimate. According to the Karar daily, Ankara has told Interpol’s secretary general that the 60,000 names were not picked randomly and each allegation is backed by years of legal investigation establishing membership of the so-called FETÖ organization.

Since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, Turkey has been referring to the Hizmet movement launched by the Philadelphia-based preacher Fethullah Gulen as FETÖ — Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization — and tens of thousands of the movements’ members are considered suspects and fugitives. Interpol’s decision means they can continue to use their passports and travel around Europe and the United States. That decision has allowed many members to seek asylum, fleeing to Europe and the United States, including NATO officers, diplomats, soldiers, police officers, and bureaucrats.

That decision has allowed many Gulenists or suspected Gulenists to seek asylum, fleeing to Europe and the United States, including NATO officers, diplomats, soldiers, police officers, academics, and bureaucrats.

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