Home » Turkish security services admit to abducting member of influential Gulen family in Kenya

Turkish security services admit to abducting member of influential Gulen family in Kenya

by Editorial Team

A Nairobi-based Turkish businessman and member of the prominent Gulen family has turned up in Turkey after his abduction on May 3. Turkey’s security services have admitted to kidnapping Salahuddin Gulen and flying him back to the country, Kenya.co.ke reported.

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) stated through the Anadolu state news agency that it captured the fugitive businessman, who is wanted on domestic charges.

“The Turkish intelligence captured a member of FETO (ed. Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) abroad and brought him back to Turkey,” MIT stated. “Mr. Selahaddin Gulen, who is a relative of FETO’s ringleader Fetullah Gulen, fled abroad with the help of the group’s covert structure.” 

Salahuddin was battling extradition through a lawsuit filed with the Kiambu Law Courts. The Turkish government sought his extradition over child molestation charges following a crackdown on the Gulen family.

“It is suspected that my uncle may have supported the coup,” Salahuddin wrote in a court filing. “Turkish authorities began a crackdown on all the people who were directly or indirectly related to Fetullah Gulen. His relatives in Turkey were arrested on fictitious criminal charges and are serving long prison sentences.”

Barely a week after his abduction, the Kiambu High Court summoned three top Kenyan officials and asked them to account for his disappearance. They included Interior County Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Director of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai.

Salahuddin is a member of the wealthy Gulen family. The family owns six academic institutions in Kenya called the Light Academy schools and many more worldwide. 

He is a nephew of U.S.-based Fethullah Gulen, an authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker, author, poet, opinion leader and founder of the Gulen movement. The movement was officially classified as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government in 2016. His uncle was accused of orchestrating a failed military coup in Turkey in 2016 that claimed 251 lives and injured more than 2,000 citizens. 

The Gulen movement

The Gulen movement is a religiously inspired network engaged in business, media, arts, charities and education, with its own schools functioning worldwide. 

The movement drifted from a nationally-based organization in the 1970s to an international network with a presence in more than 110 countries. Education is at the center of the Gulen project, as the founder believes a lack of religious education creates atheism. In Kenya, the movement has built six schools four in Nairobi and two in Mombasa.

Estimates vary drastically, yet some media have claimed the Gulen family is worth upwards of $20 billion.

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