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Turkish-Kyrgyz educator abducted by MİT faces 22 years on terrorism charges

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A Turkish prosecutor has demanded a prison sentence of up to 22 years, six months for Orhan İnandı, an educator who was recently abducted from Kyrgyzstan by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, local media reported on Friday.

An indictment drafted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office charges İnandı with “managing an armed terrorist organization.”

The indictment was sent to a high criminal court on Friday, according to Turkish media reports.

İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat school network operating in Kyrgyzstan, went missing on May 31 and was feared to have been abducted by MİT due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. The movement is labeled as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government and accused of masterminding a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016. Both Gülen and his followers strongly deny any involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had acknowledged in a statement on July 5 that İnandı was actually abducted by MİT, lauding the Turkish spies’ efforts in the rendition.

The president’s announcement came nearly a month after he told Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov during an official visit to Ankara that he had no idea of the whereabouts of İnandı, according to an aide to the Kyrgyz president.

Human Rights Watch released a statement on July 7 following Erdoğan’s announcement about İnandı, saying that the abduction, forcible disappearance and extrajudicial transfer of educator İnandı to Turkey by Turkish and Kyrgyz authorities amount to egregious violations of international and domestic law.

Civil society groups and others have also expressed shock at İnandı’s forcible transfer to Turkey amid concerns that the Kyrgyz government failed to thoroughly investigate his disappearance.

Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following the abortive putsch on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding.

According to the latest information provided by Turkish officials, 622,646 people have been the subject of investigation and 301,932 have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

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