Businessman fleeing persecution in Turkey dies in Sarajevo public park

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Recep Güneş

Recep Güneş, a Turkish businessman who sought asylum in Bosnia after fleeing the Turkish government’s post-coup purge, died on Monday at a public park in the foothills of Mount Igman on the outskirts of Sarajevo, several media outlets reported.

The cause of death is unknown.

Güneş’s assets were reportedly seized by the Turkish government, and he has been sought in Turkey over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Güneş reportedly fled Turkey soon after the coup attempt and has been seeking legal protection in Bosnia.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the movement following the putsch.

The European Commission (EC) on April 17 called on the Turkish government to “lift the state of emergency without delay,” saying that widespread dismissals, arrests and detentions continue to raise serious concerns.

Citing “the broad scale and collective nature, and the disproportionality of measures,” the EC in its “2018 Report on Turkey” said: “Since the introduction of the state of emergency, over 150 000 people were taken into custody, 78 000 were arrested and over 110 000 civil servants were dismissed whilst, according to the authorities, some 40 000 were reinstated of which some 3 600 by decree.”

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017 that 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.

On Nov. 16, 2017 Soylu had said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.

(Turkey Purge)

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