Skip to main content

Erdogan ramps up dispute with Kosovo over deportation of Gulen-linked Turks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj would "pay" for his actions after the latter sacked his interior minister and spy chief following the secret deportation of six Turks.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference at Euxinograd residence, near Varna, Bulgaria, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov - RC1143E321D0

“Kosovo is Turkey, and Turkey is Kosovo.” This assertion, made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2013 while serving as prime minister, must have rung eerily true for six Turkish nationals as Turkish intelligence officials spirited them out of Kosovo by private jet on March 29.

The men, five Turkish schoolteachers and a medical doctor, have been accused of links to Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Sunni cleric the Turkish government blames for the failed 2016 coup attempt. The extractions, which human rights advocates denounced as illegal, have sent tremors through the tiny Balkan state, exposed the extent of Turkish impunity and ignited tensions between Turkey and its former Ottoman dominion.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.