One of the seven Turkish teachers controversially deported from Moldova to Turkey has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for terrorism-related offences.
A Turkish court sentenced the director of a branch of a chain of private high schools in Moldova, Riza Dogan, to seven-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday. Dogan was one of seven teachers kidnapped by the Moldovan secret services in collaboration with their Turkish counterparts in an operation on September 6, 2018, and then deported back to Turkey.
Dogan and his colleagues were accused of financing terrorism. He had lived in Moldova since 1993, for 25 years.
The private schools are reportedly connected to the movement headed by exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Ankara considers a terrorist group and holds responsible for the failed coup in Turkey in 2016.
The professors had applied for asylum in Moldova before being controversially extradited. The former government in Moldova, led by the Democratic Party, justified the move, citing terrorism-related reasons.
Of the seven Turks sent back to Ankara, Dogan is the fourth to be convicted. He may appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals, but a Turkish journalist based in Bucharest, Necdet Celik, told BIRN that the process was likely to take years to resolve.
“It will take a long time. Any conviction longer than five years goes to the Supreme Court of Appeals, and the trials could last for years,” he said.
After the controversial rendition, Turkey showed its appreciation by repairing the damaged Presidential Palace in Chisinau for President Igor Dodon. Some Turkish companies also received important contracts to build roads and a national sports arena in Moldova.
Two weeks ago, the Moldovan Security and Intelligence Service, SIS, submitted a report on the expulsion of Turkish citizens to the Parliamentary Security and Public Order Committee. Members of the committee have not read yet the document, but have promised to do so shortly.
On June 11, meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, ruled that the country had violated the rights of the seven Turkish nationals by deporting them to Turkey.
The ECHR noted that in the applications for asylum that the Turkish citizens filed in Moldova before their arrests, they clearly expressed their fear of being politically persecuted in their country of origin.
The court ordered the government in Chisinau to pay 25,000 euros each to five of the Turkish citizens who took their cases to the ECHR, for violating articles 5.1 and 8 of the Human Rights Convention. The two others are about to file the same cases against Moldova.
Move by pro-EU Prime Minister to turn August 23 into a day of remembrance for victims of totalitarianism may trigger an ideological fight with her pro-Russian coalition partners – who celebrate the victory in 1944 of the Soviet Red Army on that day.( ) Read all
Sept. 1 marks the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland — an event that heralded the beginning of World War II. Two years later, the United States entered the war as an ally of both Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By that time, France and numerous other...( ) Read all
One of the most celebrated diplomats of his generation, Richard Holbrooke helped normalize U.S. relations with China; served as U.S. ambassador to a newly reunified Germany and then to the United Nations; and, most famously, negotiated the 1995 Dayton peace agreement that ended the war in...( ) Read all
Russia wants to strike a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit to Europe when the current 10-year agreement expires in order to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine, four sources familiar with Russian thinking said.( ) Read all
Looking for a combined wine and gastronomy vacation? Looking for something adventurous and a bit off the beaten track? Try Moldova. This is probably not the first country that pops up in your mind. Some people may not even know it as a wine country. But it definitely is one. And an old one at that.( ) Read all
The Commission has resumed budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova by disbursing €14.54 million today to support the implementation of the EU-Moldova free trade agreement, to finance vocational education trainings and to assist the implementation of the visa liberalisation...( ) Read all
Red faces in Moscow this weekend, with the news that hackers have successfully targeted FSB—Russia's Federal Security Service. The hackers managed to steal 7.5 terabytes of data from a major contractor, exposing secret FSB projects to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media,...( ) Read all
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Moldova's new pro-European government to continue on the path of reforms and step up the fight against widespread corruption, saying Berlin would offer Chisinau its support.( ) Read all
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale congratulated Moldova's new prime minister, Maia Sandu, and expressed U.S. support for her government during a July 13 meeting in the Moldovan capital.( ) Read all
The first batch of oil from the USA arrived at the port of the Ukrainian city of Odesa. According to the press service of the port, 75 thousand tons of Bakken grade oil was purchased by PJSC Ukrtatnafta and will be processed at the Kremenchuk oil refinery.( ) Read all
BRUSSELS — The European Union launched an ambitious effort earlier this year to combat election interference: an early-warning system that would sound alarms about Russian propaganda. Despite high expectations, however, records show that the system has become a repository for a...( ) Read all