A recent video recording submitted to Turkey Purge shows that Malaysia has been detaining Turks in the country at the request of the Turkish government.
Malaysian police detained three Turkish nationals over their alleged links to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last week. The detainees included Turkish academic İsmet Özçelik, who had been briefly imprisoned in mid-December 2016 and released in January of this year.
Malaysia’s police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters that Turks were arrested without any request from the Turkish government.
However, a recent video filmed when Malaysian immigration officials raided the house of Özçelik to take him into custody on Dec. 13, 2016 shows that the request had been made by Turkish authorities.
“[The Turkish] Embassy kindly informs you that the Turkish passport of Mr. Özçelik, who is a member of terrorist organization FETÖ, was invalidated on August 22, 2016 and is no longer valid. Details … of the passport are provided below,” one of Özçelik’s friends is heard reading from the document in one official’s hand during the arrest. Turkey Purge blurred the video recording in order to protect Özçelik’s friends. The Turkish government labels the movement as a terrorist organization in using the term “FETÖ,” short for the so-called Fethullahist Terrorist Organization.
Even though there was no arrest warrant issued for him, Özçelik was detained due to a request from the Turkish Embassy in Malaysia, his friend says during the video.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia called on Malaysian officials to refrain from extradition as the detainees are affiliated with the Gülen movement, against which the government has launched a sweeping witch-hunt, accusing the group of being behind a July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Already having detained more than 120,000 people with alleged or real ties to the movement, the Turkish government earlier asked foreign governments to go after Gülen followers in their own countries.
Previously, in October 2016, two other Turkish nationals were detained in Malaysia and were deported to Turkey the following day. (Turkey Purge)