BISHKEK (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan summoned the Turkish ambassador on Tuesday to protest after Turkish National Intelligence Agency officers detained a man on Kyrgyz soil regarded by Ankara as a high-ranking officer of an underground anti-government network.
Kyrgyzstan’s foreign ministry said such actions were unacceptable and urged Turkey to return Orhan Inandi who it said was a Kyrgyz citizen.
Turkish ambassador Ahmet Dogan said Inandi was also a Turkish citizen, the statement added.
Inandi heads a network of Turkish schools in the Central Asian country. He went missing in late May and his family and supporters accused Turkey of kidnapping him.
Ankara considers the schools, which have sprung up across the ex-Soviet region over the last three decades, part of a network led by preacher Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan who now lives in the United States.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s government accused Gulen of being behind a failed 2016 coup attempt and launched a widespread crackdown on his network, which Ankara refers to by the acronym ‘FETO’. Gulen denies any involvement.
Erdogan said this week Inandi, whom he described as the FETO representative in Central Asia, had been detained and brought to Turkey by the National Intelligence Agency.
(Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)