Educator Kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan by Turkish Spies Asked About Critical Magazine Subscription

Abdullah Bozkurt / Stockholm

Educator Orhan İnandı, a Turkish-Kyrgyz dual national who was kidnapped by Turkish intelligence agency MIT, was asked about his subscriptions to newspapers and magazines critical of the government after he was taken to Turkey, according to a document obtained by Nordic Monitor.

İnandı, the founder and president of the prestigious Turkish-Kyrgyz school network Sapat operating in Kyrgyzstan, was kidnapped by Turkish spies on May 31, 2021 and illegally taken to Turkey, where he was reportedly subjected to torture.

The educator, who had lived in Kyrgyzstan for nearly three decades, has been targeted because of his ties to the Gülen movement, a group that criticizes the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo onan on a range of issues, including the widespread corruption and the arming of Turkey. jihadist groups.

“Are there any newspapers or magazines you subscribe to? If you subscribed to these newspapers and magazines, when and how long did you subscribe and how much did you pay for the subscriptions? Explain, ”police asked according to an 89-page statement that was taken from July 10-12, 2021 to the Ankara Counterterrorism Department.

Orhan İnandı’s statement:

Orhan_Inandi_Redacted1

İnandı said he was a subscriber to a magazine called Sızıntı, at one time the most widely distributed monthly magazine in Turkey, published from the 1970s until the Erdoğan government illegally seized the Kaynak publishing house. in 2015 and closed the magazine a year later. with some 200 media outlets in an unprecedented crackdown on critical and independent media.

The Turkish government plans to read and subscribe to critical and opposition daily newspapers and publications as evidence of a crime and considers any association with such publications sufficient to warrant a criminal investigation under anti-terrorism laws of the country, which is abused a lot. Many people have been arrested and sent to jail simply for their subscriptions to publications associated with the Gülen movement, including the daily Zaman, once the country’s most widely distributed newspaper until it was illegally taken over by the government. by Erdoğan in March 2016.

The subscription to Sızıntı that İnandı referred to in his statement is more than enough to convict him and sentence him to prison in Turkey, where the government is waging a war against critical, independent and opposition media. The Erdoğan government has jailed nearly 200 journalists, making Turkey the world’s leading jailer of journalists, according to the Stockholm Center for Freedom, a Swedish-based watchdog group.

Sızıntı was Turkey’s most widely read culture, science and religion magazine with 850,000 monthly subscribers until its takeover by the government in 2015. Subscriptions fell dramatically in 2016 after a backlash from readers, and the government decided to shut it down completely in July 2016.

Turkish police present seized books, magazines and newspaper copies as criminal evidence.

Sızıntı was first released in 1979 with a copy of the famous painting by Italian artist Bruno Amadio, “The Crying Boy”, and mainly covered the subjects of culture, literature, health, science , history and religion. It was not a political magazine. The magazine was also published in English, German, Russian, Arabic and Albanian and could be found in 42 countries around the world.

İnandı was a subscriber in 1995 when he was in Kyrgyzstan, where he helped get investors from Turkey and other countries to invest millions of dollars in educational institutions across the country. He has been recognized several times by the state for his contribution to improving the country’s school system.

Orhan İnandı has been recognized by the Kyrgyz authorities for his contributions to Kyrgyzstan.

In his statement, İnandı spoke about the schools where he spent his entire career during the 26 years he lived in Kyrgyzstan. The schools have been popular with many senior government officials, with presidents and prime ministers choosing to send their children and grandchildren to schools in Sapat.

Some 20,000 students have so far graduated from Sapat schools, run by the Ministry of Education. It currently has 11,000 students enrolled in different classes and has a teaching staff of 1,000 and technical staff of around 1,200. About 90 percent of the teaching staff is made up of Kyrgyz nationals, while the recall are nationals. Turkish, American, Canadian, British, Indian and Filipino, according to the press release from İnandı.

İnandı’s statement on his Sızıntı subscription:

Orhan_Inandi_Sizinti1

He denied the charges of belonging to a terrorist group and said he had never been involved in an illegal business in his life. Starting his career as a history teacher in 1991 and holding some managerial positions in educational institutions in Turkey, İnandı moved to Kyrgyzstan in 1995, after which he was offered a post of deputy headmaster in Sapat schools. . Marrying his wife Reyhan the same year, the couple have four children who still live in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan called on Turkey to surrender İnandı, and Ahmet Sadık Doğan, Turkish Ambassador to Bishkek, was summoned by Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev on the orders of President Sadyr Japarov. Doğan received an official notice of protest denouncing İnandı’s kidnapping.

The Kyrgyz authorities made it clear to Turkey that such action was unacceptable and violated the principles and standards of international law, human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant. on civil and political rights.

Although the Turkish ambassador was silent on how the educator was kidnapped, President Erdoğan publicly admitted that İnandı was kidnapped by Turkish spies and taken to Turkey, praising their efforts in restitution. Photos of İnand handcuffed with Turkish flags indicated that nand had lost weight and had apparently been tortured. İnandı’s wife Reyhan said photos showing her handcuffed husband revealed the torture he suffered. “It is obvious that they tortured my husband. He lost so much weight, ”she said.

Orhan İnandı’s wife Reyhan said photos showing her handcuffed husband revealed the torture he suffered. “It is obvious that they tortured my husband. He lost so much weight, ”she said.

Turkish actions abroad have drawn criticism and outrage. In a joint letter, the UN rapporteurs accused the Turkish government of engaging in the systematic practice of state-sponsored extraterritorial abductions and forced returns to Turkey, with at least 100 Turkish nationals from several states, including Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Gabon, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Pakistan transferred to Turkey.

In a number of cases, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has concluded that the arrest, detention and forcible transfer to Turkey of Turkish nationals were arbitrary and in violation of international human rights standards. humans.

A recent Freedom House report on global transnational repression also revealed the intensity, geographic scope and suddenness of the Turkish government’s campaign targeting dissidents abroad, noting that Turkey has emerged as the number one country that have made restitutions from host states since 2014.

According to recent official statements from its Interior Ministry, Turkey has sent 800 extradition requests to 105 countries since the attempt, and more than 110 suspected members of the movement have been brought back to Turkey as part of the global campaign for the government.

In this 2011 photo, Orhan İnandı is seen next to the Prime Minister of the Erdoğan era.