Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has captured 80 Turkish citizens suspected of links to what the authorities call the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO) from 18 different countries so far, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on April 5.
Bozdag’s comments in a televised interview with private broadcaster Haberturk TV come amid tension between Turkey and Kosovo over last week’s abduction of six Turkish men from the country.
“The MIT has struck a major blow against FETO through its operation abroad. The incident in Kosovo was a great success,” he said.
Although Bozdag did not name the countries where MIT operations have been carried out against FETO targets, there are unconfirmed reports that operations have been carried out in cooperation with countries including Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
The movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, an ally turned nemesis of the Ankara government, is believed to have been behind Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt.
Turkey’s cooperation with the Kosovo intelligence agency and interior ministry in last week’s operation created internal tension in the country as Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj fired the heads of both institutions on the grounds that he was not informed about the operation.