Igor Soltes, European Parliament’s Rapporteur for Kosovo, says he was surprised by the hurried action of Kosovo enforcement agents who two weeks ago arrested and deported six Turkish nationals suspected of their alleged links with Fetullah Gulen’s movement. He considers the entire process as worrying and hopes the arrest of Turkish men will not affect Kosovo’s EU integration process.
Kosovo authorities have on 29 March arrested six Turkish nationals, five of them working for the educational institution Gylistan in Kosovo, owned by the Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen, whom the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for the failed coup in Turkey two years ago. The sixth arrested person was a Turkish doctor working in Kosovo. Their arrest was criticised by local and international politicians. The Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said that he was not informed on the operation for arresting of six Turkish men sacking minister of Interior Flamur Sefaj, and chief of Kosovo Intelligence Agency (KIA), Driton Gashi.
Member of the European Parliament and standing Rapporteur for Kosovo, Igor Soltes, in a statement to Gazeta Express said that he was surprised with as he said “hurried” action of the Kosovo enforcement agents. “I think the whole process was done in a very secretive and non-transparent way which is the most worrying thing,” Soltes told Gazeta Express.
“I hope this does not affect Kosovo’s integration process, but of course it does not shed a positive light on respecting the rule of law which is one of the key chapters in the EU accession process,” he said.
Soltes said that it is of outmost importance to respect the rule of law and not to ignore it and also to respect protocols and international conventions on human rights. “There are clear procedures on how to act accordingly and I think this has not been done properly by Kosovo’s government in this case, which I do regret,” Soltes said commenting the arrest of Turkish nationals. “I think that Kosovo Assembly's decision to start a parliamentary investigation on what really happened goes in the right direction,” Soltes concluded.