Gabon returns three suspects to Turkey over ‘Gülen links’
THREE Turkish nationals detained in Gabon over links to the Fethullah Gülen movement that Ankara blames for a failed 2016 coup have been brought to Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday. Speaking to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party, Mr Erdoğan vowed to continue to seek supporters of the US-based cleric “no matter where they run”. “Gabon has returned three important Gülenists to our country. No matter where they run or how much they run, we will go after them,” he said. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, citing security sources, said the three suspects had been captured in an operation carried out by Turkish intelligence. It said the three were brought back to Turkey and handed over to authorities for questioning. The suspects, identified as Osman Özpınar, İbrahim Akbaş and Adnan Demironal, were involved in the administration of schools run by Gulen’s network, Anadolu said, adding that they were also users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app the government says is used by the cleric’s supporters. It said the three were detained by authorities in Gabon on March 23 and also faced charges of membership of an armed terrorist organisation. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, the government’s spokesman, said last week 80 people suspected of links to Gülen’s network had been brought back to Turkey from abroad.