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Kosovo PM sacked security chief, Interior Minister on Turkish arrests



PRISTINA (Reuters) – The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, dismissed the Home Secretary and Chief of Intelligence on Friday after six Turkish nationals were arrested and extradited to Turkey.

FILE PHOTO: The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, speaking during an interview with Reuters in Pristina, Kosovo, 1
6 October 2017. REUTERS / Hazir reka

The Prime Minister said he was not on the deportation operation The six were arrested on Thursday in Kosovo for alleged links to schools funded by the Fethullah Gülen movement, blaming Ankara for a failed 2016 coup.

"The entire operation – revocation of the residence permit, detention, deportation and extradition of the six Turkish citizens from Kosovo to Turkey – was carried out without my knowledge and without my permission," said Haradinaj in a statement.

It was not immediately named a replacement for Interior Minister Flamur Sefaj and secret service chief Driton Gashi.

At its peak, the Gülen Movement ran schools in 160 countries from Afghanistan to the United States. Since the coup attempt, Turkey has urged allies to close Gulen's operations.

Kosovo has been under pressure from Turkey in recent weeks to take action against Gülen-funded schools.

Ankara said the six arrested on Thursday in Kosovo were responsible for recruiting into Gulen's network and helped people who were alleged links to the network to leave Turkey during a security operation in which tens of thousands of people were released or imprisoned allegedly Gulen links.

Ankara accuses the US based Muslim clergyman Gulen of orchestrating the coup attempt of 15 July 2016 and declared his move to be a terrorist organization. He denies any connection with the failed coup.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Arrangement by Ivana Sekularac and Edmund Blair


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