Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj that he will be held accountable for sacking interior minister and intelligence chief over a joint operation by Turkish and Kosovar intelligence services, which resulted in the arrests and extradition of six Turkish nationals suspected of their links with the Gulen movement.
According to the Gazeta Express, Erdogan, speaking on Saturday before his supporters in Istanbul, said that he is upset with the Kosovo PM move to dismiss the interior minister and intelligence chief. “And now I ask the prime minister of Kosovo, with whose order did you take such a step? Since when did you start to protect those who attempted a coup against the Republic of Turkey?" Erdogan said, underlining the strong support Turkey gave to Kosovo during its struggle for independence from Serbia.
Haradinaj dismissed Interior Minister Flamur Sefaj and secret service chief Driton Gashi, scolding them for conducting the operation Thursday without his knowledge. “The entire operation — revoking their residence permits, detention, emergency deportation and the secret extradition to Turkey of the six Turkish citizens from Kosovo territory — was conducted without my knowledge and without my permission," Haradinaj said in a statement.
Erdogan also said he expects Kosovo people not to support the move, saying "politics cannot be made through remote control."
The Kosovo Police in cooperation with the Kosovo Intelligence Agency and Turkish state intelligence agency have arrested on Thursday six Turkish men and extradited them to Turkey. The suspects were identified as Cihan Özkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina.
Erdogan blames the leader of Feto movement, Fetullah Gülen for orchestrating the failed coup in 2016.
However, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, said the extradition was also orchestrated without his knowledge, supported the action. He cited an intelligence report of the KIA stating that the six arrested Turkish men posed threat to Kosovo’s national security.