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    (FILES) In this file photo taken on September 25, 2018 Turkish businessman Akin Ipek speaks to members of the media as he leaves after appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London. A British court on November 28, 2018, rejected a request from Turkey to extradite Ipek, who is accused of helping to finance a 2016 coup attempt, his lawyers said

    London's Refusal to Extradite Ex-Turkish Media Manager Unacceptable - Turkey

    © AFP 2018 / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - A London court's refusal to extradite the former owner of the Turkish media holding Koza-Ipek, Akin Ipek, and two other Turkish citizens who are accused in their homeland of having ties with opposition Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, to Turkey is unacceptable, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy stated.

    'Yesterday (November 28th), our request for extradition of Hamdi Akin Ipek, Ali Celik, Talip Buyuk and Mustafa Yesil to Turkey, has been rejected by the judge at the hearing held by London Westminster Magistrate Court. The reasoning of the Court to deny our extradition request is entirely unsubstantiated… It was strongly emphasized to the British authorities that the decision of the Westminster court, which refused the extradition of the accused to our country, was unacceptable and deeply disappointing', Aksoy said in a statement published on the Turkish ministry's website.

    The spokesman also noted that Turkey hoped these individuals would be returned to Turkey swiftly so that they could be brought to justice. All of them, according to the ministry, are members of the Gulen movement, which Ankara refers to as the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) and blames for the 2016 coup attempt. These extradition efforts would continue, the spokesman stressed.

    The court ruled that the individuals could not be extradited to Turkey because the investigations launched against them in the country were politically motivated. The Crown Prosecution Service, who represented the interests of the Turkish government in the process, may appeal this decision within 14 days.

    READ MORE: Turkish Authorities to Close Cihan, Zaman Opposition Media on May 15

    Ipek has been in the United Kingdom since 2015. He left Turkey after police conducted searches in his company. On Wednesday, the Westminster Magistrates' Court also considered extradition requests for two other defendants in the case, Talip Buyuk, accused of being a radical imam from Iraq, and Ali Celik, director of Bank Asya.

    In October 2015, the Turkish authorities took over the management of 22 companies owned by the Koza-Ipek holding, which comprises more than 20 companies operating in various fields including metallurgy, healthcare, education, media. Koza-Ipek was accused of financing the so-called parallel state and participating in its propaganda. The TV channels Kanalturk and Bugun TV, owned by the holding, were among the companies that were searched by the police.

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    investigation, extradition, Fethullah Gulen, Turkey
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