Ozcan Keles, a British academic of Turkish descent, appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on the 20 May 2019. He is accused, by Turkish authorities, of spreading online propaganda supporting Fetullah Gülen. The Turkish extradition request alleges that Mr Keles is a member of the Fetö Organisation, a group associated with Fetullah Gülen, the cleric that President Erdoğan believes was behind the failed Turkish coup of 2016. In Turkey, the Fetö Organisation is classified as an armed terrorist organisation although it is not classified as a terrorist group in the UK.
This extradition request is one of many unsuccessful attempts made by Turkish authorities to secure the extradition of people allegedly associated with Fetullah Gülen. The most recent extradition request to the UK was for Hamdi Akin Ipek, Ali Celik and Talip Buyuk who all successfully resisted extradition to Turkey on the basis that the court had “serious reservations about the current state of the Rule of Law in Turkey” and that “by reason of their actual or perceived political views” Mr Ipek, Mr Celik and Mr Buyuk would “face a real risk of having their human rights breached if they were to be extradited to Turkey.”
You can read more of our coverage on the Ipek ruling here.