The United Nations has documented more than 100 cases of “violent repatriation of Turkish citizens from many countries”. The Turkish government is even bragging about the kidnappings and expanding them, say human rights - because the international community is not intervening.
Protests in front of the Turkish embassy in Bishkek. Protesters are demanding the release of the Turkish-Kyrgyz headmaster Orhan Inandi, who was abducted in May and is suspected of being in the embassy building. Inandi has lived in Kyrgyzstan for 25 years and worked there for a school that is part of the network of the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen - now an arch enemy of Turkish President Erdogan.
Inandi's wife alarmed the public: Inandi said she heard from eyewitnesses that her husband was being held in the Turkish embassy. There he was tortured, they wanted to force him to give up his Kyrgyz citizenship before being illegally deported to Turkey - as has happened to many other people around the world.
UN Special Rapporteur: More than 100 cases
There is no evidence that Inandi is being held at the embassy - but it would not be the first time that an alleged opponent of the Turkish regime has been arrested in a third country in order to be illegally transported to Turkey: more than a hundred The United Nations has counted such cases so far. In a letter to the Turkish government last year, the responsible UN special rapporteurs complained about a “systematic practice of state-run extraterritorial kidnappings and the violent repatriation of Turkish citizens from many countries”.
First, according to the UN representatives, the victims are spied on in the host country and then kidnapped: “The victims either disappear for weeks or are in solitary confinement before they are deported. During this time, they are often subjected to coercion, torture and humiliation in order to force their consent to be transported to Turkey or to extract confessions from them that will bring them to justice in Turkey. They are denied access to medical care and legal assistance and their families are not informed. The victims report persistent torture by secret service agents, mainly through sleep deprivation, beatings, waterboarding and electric shocks. "
Ankara does not deny the kidnappings, on the contrary: the actions are publicly announced in Turkey and celebrated by the government media; the victims are presented in handcuffs before disappearing into the dungeon. That should give the international community food for thought, says Nate Schenkkan of the human rights organization Freedom House, which observes transnational repression around the world: “In Turkey, we are dealing with a country that is openly boasting about its kidnapping campaign - that's fine extraordinary. China may have greater reach in its aggression against dissidents abroad, and Russia is committing more assassinations, but Turkey is a world leader in abductions. "
Responsibility of the international community
The international community was not innocent of this, Schenkkan told the Turkish exile broadcaster Ahval, because it was letting Turkey do its thing and thereby promoting a culture of impunity: “The Turks see that their actions have no consequences. These kidnappings are well documented, and yet they play no role in Turkey's bilateral relations, even with its key allies such as the US, France or Germany - the issue does not come up. That gives Ankara the feeling, of course, we can just do that. "
Initially, mainly supporters of the Gülen movement were in the crosshairs of the Turkish agents, but now Kurdish and left-wing activists abroad have also been seized and deported to Turkey. That was to be expected, says Schenkkan: "As human rights observers, we see it all the time: If there are no consequences for a state that disregards the rule of law, then it will not only continue this tactic, it will expand it to more and more target groups - and that is exactly what it is Turkey does. "
From Susanne Güsten/deutschlandfunk