LONDON/ANKARA (Reuters) – Exiled Turkish businessman Akin Ipek will face an extradition listening to in Britain in September, the British inside ministry mentioned on Saturday, following his arrest in relation to a Turkish request to extradite him.
Ipek constructed a multi-billion-dollar fortune in Turkey based mostly on gold mining however left the nation in 2015 after relations between the government and followers of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen soured.
Ankara now accuses Gulen, a former ally of President Tayyip Erdogan, of orchestrating a 2016 failed coup try and has carried out a widespread crackdown concentrating on his alleged followers. Gulen has denied any involvement.
In 2015, Turkey seized Ipek’s Koza-Ipek Group and its media shops, together with broadcasters and newspapers, on suspicion of economic irregularities, prompting criticism from rights teams in Turkey and overseas.
Britain’s inside ministry mentioned on Saturday that Ipek had been arrested in relation to the Turkish extradition request and an extradition listening to had been listed earlier than Westminster Magistrates’ Court in September.
The ministry declined to remark additional.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news company, additionally citing British sources, mentioned Ipek had been arrested in May over the extradition request however was launched on bail with sure travel restrictions.
Britain’s potential extradition of Ipek, whose brother and the director of Koza Group has been jailed for over two years, would mark the primary high-profile extradition by a European Union member state because the failed coup, Turkish media mentioned.
A spokesman for Ipek’s Koza Ltd advised Reuters this week that accusations made by the Turkish government have been baseless and mentioned Ipek anticipated the extradition request to be rejected.
“Mr Ipek is one of Turkey’s most respected entrepreneurs and is a man of good character. He has complete confidence that the English courts will throw out this extradition request, which is the latest attempt to bring the Turkish state’s ongoing campaign of persecution to these shores,” the spokesman mentioned.
Since leaving Turkey, Ipek has been looking for to construct up property in Britain.
Turkish authorities have taken management of lots of of corporations as a part of a crackdown on corporations it suspects of hyperlinks to Gulen and his supporters. The government has additionally shut down greater than 130 media shops as a part of the purges.
Reporting by Alistair Smout and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Edmund Blair