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Six top FETO suspects in Balkans arrested in Kosovo, brought to Turkey

Six executives of the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) in the Balkans were arrested Thursday in Kosovo and brought to Turkey in a joint operation by the Turkish and Kosova intelligence services.

Security sources told the official Anadolu Agency (AA) that the suspects, named as Cihan Ozkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Gunakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina, were brought to Turkey via a private aircraft by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

The suspects, who were being sought by Turkey, were officially in charge of the FETO-run private “Gulistan” and “Mehmet Akif” school networks in Kosovo.

The sources told Anadolu Agency that the suspects were in charge of all FETO activities in the region, as well as trafficking FETO members from Turkey to the U.S. and European countries, where the terrorist group maintains a strong presence.

Ozkan was in charge of collecting tithes from FETO members in the Balkans and transferring the terrorist group’s shares to the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, where FETO leader Fetullah Gulen has been residing since 1999.

Gunakan was the key figure in hiring teachers to the schools.

Karakaya assumed an active role in the Ergenekon sham trial launched by FETO-linked prosecutors and police officers targeting the officer corps and the chain of command of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). During the trial, Karakaya prepared reports in favor of FETO at the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institution. FETO members used the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer (Balyoz) trials to infiltrate into the TSK, and a majority of officers and non-commissioned officers who took part in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which left 250 civilians killed and 2,200 others injured, were appointed to crucial command posts after these trials.

In a statement Thursday, the Kosova Interior Ministry said the residence permits of the suspects had been revoked, without providing any reasons. According to Kosovo law, the ministry can revoke the residence permits of individuals over security, criminal, health, public moral or human rights threats.

A police statement said raids connected to the arrests were continuing.

Nazi Ulus, a principal of one of the Gulen-linked schools, told Reuters that one of the arrested Turks, Mustafa Erdem, was the director of all Gulen schools in Kosovo. He had no further information.

Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj only confirmed to reporters that the expired residence permits were the cause of their detention.

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