The Turkish government will strip the citizenship of 130 Turks abroad over alleged ties to militant organizations or the failed coup last summer unless they return to the country within 3 months.
The chief target of the government policy is U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his sympathizers. It also includes 3 Kurdish politicians with People’s Democracy Party (HDP), lawmakers Faysal Sariyildiz, Tugba Hezer, and former HDP deputy Ozdal Ucer.
Revoking citizenship represents a new threshold that reveals the depth of government’s far-reaching crackdown at home and abroad. More than 150,000 public servants have been sacked in a sweeping purge campaign, which took a destructive edge with all-encompassing social repercussions.
At least 50,000 people were placed behind bars over coup-related charges. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan singled out Mr. Gulen and his sympathizers as the chief organizers of an abortive coup last summer. Both the cleric and his movement denies any link to the putsch that killed 249 people, wounded nearly 2,000 in a sequence of violent encounters between rebel troops and police, and civilians.
The Turkish government has expanded its manhunt against Gulen movement members on a global scale, pressuring countries to extradite teachers or businessmen work in Gulen-affiliated institutions.
Over the past weeks, Myanmar, Malaysia, Ukraine and Georgia all succumbed to Ankara’s demands and sent Gulenists back to Turkey, ignoring warnings from international rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and United Nations Human Rights Office.
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