Posted on August 8, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Politics, Politics
Gulen movement’s imam Nurettin Aytug. Photo: Yenicaggazetesi.com.tr
ANKARA,— The Gulen Hizmet Organization’s imam in Iraq was extradited to Turkey by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) late Saturday, Turkish Sabah Daily reported.
Nurettin Aytuğ, who was attempting to provide an appropriate environment for several Hizmet Organization members to continue their activities in Iraqi Kurdistan after the Turkey’s failed coup attempt on July 15, was handed over to Turkey at the Habur Border Gate on the Iraqi Kurdistan border.
Turkish media reported that Aytuğ had met with two officials from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK on July 11 and July 14. Then, on the morning of July 16, he contacted those officials again to tell them that the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, might have been killed on İmralı Island where he has been serving a life sentence since 1999.
Aytuğ has been leading a smear campaign against Turkey in Iraqi Kurdistan for months and established a network with opponents of the KRG and its ruling party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani, who has significant relations with the Turkish government.
Turkey says Gulen is the mastermind behind the failed July 15-16 putsch that attempted to overthrow the government. Gulen denies the charges.
So far, tens of thousands of people in Turkey – including police, judges and teachers – have been suspended or placed under investigation since the July coup, which Turkey says was staged by a faction within the military loyal to Fethullah Gulen.
Recently, he enabled U.S.-based Hizmet Organization preacher Fethullah Gulen to have an interview with NRT TV in his residence in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
In the interview, Gulen declared his deepest sorrow for the dead Kurdish PKK militants and belittled the death of Turkish security forces that have been clashing in Turkish Kurdistan, the Kurdish region in Turkey’s southeast, since July of last year.
The said last week that it would not close 20 schools affiliated with Hizmet Organization led by cleric Fethullah Gulen.
KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee said Sunday that the Gulenist schools will be seized and will be tied to the Ministry of Education of Iraqi Kurdistan.
In his statement, Dizayee stated this “friendly” step will be taken as a result of good relations with Turkey and said: “The Ministry of Education will seize these schools. These schools shall continue to work; however, they should be completely tied to the ministry and taken from those hands. There will be another system in these schools, different people will also enter, and there will be a different administration.”
“We need to strictly follow those schools after the coup attempt on July 15,” Dizayee said.