Turkey hands down prison sentences to alleged Gulenists extralegally detained in Kosovo

Turkish intelligence (MIT) abducted 6 people including Professor of Cardiology Osman Karakaya and Biology Teacher Cihan Özkan from Kosovo in March 2018 and took them to Turkey.

There was a reaction from the European Union to the Kosovo Administration regarding the abduction that was carried out without using legal means by using hidden aircraft.

All those abducted have been arrested in Turkey. The court sentenced Ozkan and Karakaya to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment on terror charges over ties with Hizmet (Gulen) Movement which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Erdogan administration.

The sentence was given under the terror laws that Erdogan’s regime frequently used.

During the trial at the Istanbul 30th High Criminal Court, Osman Karakaya said that they had been detained for 20 months and that Turkish intelligence (MIT) had committed an international crime.


Cihan Özkan denied the accusations against him and said, “I have worked in the best educational institutions in Kosovo for 6 years. The institution where I carry out educational activities is an institution visited by our country. The legal rights of the educational institution were granted by the country of Kosovo. It is an educational institution taught foreign languages, biology, physics, and chemistry. It has no concern with any legal or illegal structure In Turkey”.

Stressing that he was only a biology teacher in Kosovo and had been unlawfully detained for 20 months, Özkan asked for his acquittal.


Osman Karakaya, a professor of cardiology, stated that he did not accept all the accusations against him and argued that there was no evidence in the trial file and what he has experienced is an “international crime”. Karakaya, “The deportation process has not been carried out for us. We have been brought in a private plane and without passports and tickets. I’m under arrest for 20 months, I demand my release and acquittal.” said.

Osman Karakaya, one of the defendants who was asked the final words by notifying that the case would be decided, said “There’s nothing I’m guilty of. I don’t blame you either. I hope it would be a good judgment”. Cihan Özkan also said “I am not a terrorist. I deny all the charges against me”.


Bb announcing the verdict, the court decided to sentence the defendants Karakaya and Özkan to seven years and six months’ imprisonment.

The “international espionage” offenses were acquitted on the grounds that the offenses were not fixed and the defendants’ detention was decided to carry on.

It has been approved by the court that the crime of international espionage, which was asserted as a reason for the abduction by Turkish Intelligence, was not committed.


Turkish citizens who were teaching at Mehmet Akif College that referred to the Service Movement in Kosovo and who had residence permits in Kosovo until 2022, were abducted by the MIT in March 2018.

The names of five Turkish teachers and one doctor are as follows:

“Cihan Özkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina”

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