Turkish national in Montenegro detained on extradition request from Ankara

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Harun Ayvaz

Harun Ayvaz, a 35-year-old Turkish national, has been detained in Montenegro upon an extradition request from Turkey on allegations of membership in the faith-based Gülen movement.

According to a statement posted on Twitter by his wife on Oct. 4, although a judge has already rejected his extradition to Turkey, an appeals court is still considering it while keeping Ayvaz behind bars.

Ayvaz had been working for a Gülen-linked school in Kyrgyzstan in the aftermath of a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Ayvaz later decided to move to Europe as the pressure from Ankara had mounted on the Kyrgyz government.

He was apprehended by Serbian police in July 2019, and his passport was seized by the local authorities. He then moved to Montenegro, where he served one month in jail for travelling with invalid documents.

Following his release Ayvaz applied for asylum, the statement indicated, adding that in the meantime an extradition request from Ankara was filed with the Montenegrin authorities.

More than a hundred Gülen followers have been brought back to Turkey through extraditions and intelligence operations as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting the movement.

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