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    BASHKIRIA ANNULS VISAS OF FOUR TURKISH BUSINESSMEN SUSPECTED OF CONTACTS WITH EXTREMIST ORGANISATION

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    UFA, March 5, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Migration Department of the Bashkir Interior Ministry passed a decision to annul the visas of four Turkish businessmen who worked in that republic on the Volga river. As RIA Novosti was told in the ministry, they are suspected of involvement in the international Islamic extremist sector "Nurdjular." According to the law enforcement bodies of Bashkiria, one of the branches of this organisation is situated in the Bashkir capital of Ufa. Supposedly, it existed under the guise of the Style company which was founded by Turkish businessmen who sold leather clothes and jewels. As militiamen suspect, more than half of the profits of that shop went to the treasury of the sect whose leader Fethullah Gullen has been included into the wanted list.

    The four Turkish citizens, whose visas have been annulled by the Bashkir Interior Ministry, worked in that shop. They are: Ozer Ibrahim Denia, the founder of the Stil firm; Ashgenaa Hairetdin, its executive director; and Aktepe Yusuf and Uailashkan Shahin, deputy directors.

    According to the Interior Ministry, when militiamen checked the shop, they found out that banned literature was being spread among its clients.

    The spokesman for the ministry said that the works of the sect's founder, Said Nursi, and his follower Gullen have been banned even in Turkey where the Nurdjular supporters are trying to overthrow the secular government and replace it by a sharia government.

    According to the data of international intelligence agencies, the Nurdjular sect is connected with the Grey Wolves terrorist organisation and has about 300 schools and universities in 35 countries.

    In the past two years, more than 20 followers of the Nurdjular sect, citizens of Turkey, were deported from Russia.

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