Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has abducted a Gülen movement-affiliated businessman from Sudan, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.
According to the news Memduh Çıkmaz was returned to Turkey from Sudan in a joint operation between the two countries’ intelligence agencies. Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service is believed to have assisted in his arrest and repatriation, Anadolu reported.
The Aktifhaber news website reported that Çıkmaz had left Turkey in January 2016 after being pressured by the government and settled in Sudan, where he had investments. He was detained in September in Sudan as a result of the growing pressure of Ankara on Khartoum.
Çıkmaz, a native of the central Anatolian city of Çorum, was awarded by then-Turkish President Abdullah Gül for being the leading taxpayer in the city, on June 4, 2010.
The Gülen movement is accused by the Turkish government of mounting a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, but the movement strongly denies any involvement.
The government launched a witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement following the failed coup. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Nov. 16 said 48,739 people had been jailed and eight holdings and 1,020 companies seized as part of operations against the movement.
The Turkish Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup in July 2016.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 of last year through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency.