The arrest of Turkish national Fatih Keskin is based on “a verbal order” by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and puts Bosnia’s sovereignty into question, the liberal Nasa Stranka (Our Party) said in a press statement on Wednesday.
"We have no reason to doubt that Fatih Keskin was arrested for political reasons, more specifically, on a private order by Turkey's President personally, Erdogan - under the same principle under which 21,000 educators in Turkey were suspended and most of them were arrested without any trial. Erdogan's regime wants to work here among us as well,” a statement from the party said.
Richmond Park Schools principal Fatih Keskin, a Turkish citizen residing in Bosnia for the past 20 years, was arrested on Tuesday and taken to an unknown location after speaking to the police of the Una-Sana Canton in northern Bosnia.
The school claims Keskin was not allowed to contact his attorney and that he told his family he was in the migrant detention centre in Lukavica, near Sarajevo.
According to Nasa Stranka, the arrest was the result of a “verbal order by Erdogan to the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina” to arrest and extradite educators who have proper documents for residing and living in the country, although there are no legal proceedings ongoing against them in Bosnia or Turkey and they are are not subject to any Interpol warrants.
The party added that neither the UN nor any other international institution concluded that FETO should be considered a terrorist organisation.
"Professor Keskin's arrest is the latest in a series of actions that show the inferior position of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina toward Erdogan and does not represent a fight against terrorism,” the party said, adding that it does not want to see Bosnia’s police and judicial system as an “extended hand of Erdogan’s regime.”
"We call upon state institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina to act in accordance with the Constitution and international conventions and agreements which Bosnia is a signatory of in this case and other cases, and to present the reasons for their activities so far to the entire public,” the party said.
“This is a fundamental issue regarding the sovereignty of the state of Bosnia and the citizens have a right to know whether we live in a democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina or if we are a Turkish territory where Erdogan does as he pleases,” the statement concluded.