Turkey wants Bosnia to expel suspected Gulenists: Lawyers

16 Jul 2019 / 12:53 H.

SARAJEVO: Bosnia will reconsider residence permits granted to several Turkish citizens suspected by Ankara of links with the movement of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, Bosnian lawyers said Monday.

The procedure, which was confirmed by local authorities, coincided with a recent visit to Sarajevo by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Bosnian lawyers Senka Nozica and Nedim Ademovic represent seven Turkish citizens who have been summoned by the service that deals with foreigners within Bosnia’s ministry for security.

“It is a procedure aimed at annulling their residence permit,“ Nozica told reporters.

The lawyers explained that the Turkish embassy in Sarajevo had delivered a list of names to Bosnian authorities, claiming that their Turkish passports were no longer valid.

“No proof (and) no reason for the annulation of the passports” has been given, Nozica said. She added that her clients “had no links with coup d’etat” in Turkey in 2016 and that they were in Bosnia at the time.

Some are teachers who work in Bosnia, in some cases for almost 20 years, she said.

“Verifications of their residence permit in Bosnia are underway, their passports were annulled and we are verifying with the Turkish embassy,“ service head Slobodan Ujic told the Radio Free Europe (RFE).

“Bosnian institutions are under horrible political pressure,“ lawyer Nedim Ademovic said.

On Monday, Turkey is to commemorate the failed coup attempt in 2016 that Erdogan blames on Gulen.

The US-based Muslim preacher has been accused of ordering the attempted putsch which left hundreds dead and thousands more injured. Gulen, who has been living in the US for about 20 years denies any involvement.

More than 55,000 people were arrested and more than 150,000 fired from public service following the failed coup.

Ankara claims that it has obtained extradition of 110 suspects from around 20 countries. — AFP

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