Bosnia detains FETÖ school administrator, preparing to extradite to Turkey

Published 04.12.2019 19:32

Bosnia-Herzegovina detained an administrator in one of the schools run by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in the country, Bosnian media outlets reported on Tuesday.

Fatih Keskin, who is from Turkey, was the manager of a FETÖ high school in Bihac province. He was detained on Tuesday after being called by the police to give his testimony. Following the detention, Keskin was reportedly transferred to a migration center to launch his extradition process to Turkey.

While police forces of the province have not released an official statement on the issue, Nedim Ademovic, a lawyer for some FETÖ fugitives that Turkey wants extradited, confirmed the detention.

Ademovic said that Keskin has lived in Bosnia for more than 20 years with his family.

Anadolu Agency reported that the high school that Keskin was working at was initially known as "Una-Sana College" under the Bosna Sema Education Institutions. However, later on, the school was transferred to the English Richmond Park Schools on paper and renamed the "Richmond Park Bihac College."

With a debt of more than 2.5 million euros ($2.88 million), property owned by the FETÖ-linked Richmond Park Schools is being sold off by the bank after the loan agreement was violated, said the weekly Bosnian magazine Stav in 2018. With this development, the educational institution has reportedly twice changed ownership since the 2016 defeated coup attempt but failed to inform the bank.

The magazine said fighting such FETÖ-linked institutions is not just a Turkish effort against the terror group but a domestic problem as long as the same structures operate in Bosnia-Herzegovina and try to indoctrinate children with a "sick" ideology.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, killing 251 people and injuring nearly 2,200 others in the process. FETÖ also has a considerable presence outside of Turkey, including private educational institutions that serve as revenue streams for the terrorist group.

FETÖ has a considerable presence abroad, particularly in the U.S., where it runs a chain of charter schools that are also a huge source of income for the terrorist group.

The terrorist group relies on a global network of schools and businesses for new recruits, lobbying and financing its activities. Turkey says schools, particularly those in developing or underdeveloped countries, are a gateway for FETÖ to that country. The terrorist group's prestigious schools attract the country's elite, hence, helping the group to gain influence through its key connections. Turkey also accuses these schools of being a cover for espionage activities of FETÖ on behalf of intelligence services.

Bosnia is known for its warm ties with Turkey, but like other Balkan countries, it is also home to a network of schools and businesses run by FETÖ.

Both before and after the 2016 coup attempt, hundreds of FETÖ members fled abroad. Ankara now seeks more cooperation from the international community to bring them to justice.

In September, the foreigner's branch of Bosnia's Security Ministry canceled the residence permit of four Turkish citizens that Turkey requested extradition for, which eventually became an issue that was brought to the court.

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