Erdogan’s great game: Turkish intrigue in the Balkans

Erdogan's great game: Turkish intrigue in the Balkans

This is the third part in a series exploring Turkey’s geopolitical ambitions. Previous episodes include Erdogan’s Great Game: Soldiers, Spies, and Turkey’s Quest for Power and Erdogan’s Great Game: The Turkish Problem at the Door of the EU

Just over a year ago, Turkish citizen Harun Celik was released from an Albanian prison and taken to the airport. Hours later he was back in Turkey, where state media boasted that he had been returned in an operation by Turkish intelligence services.

Mr. Celik, a teacher, was arrested by Albanian authorities in July 2019 for trying to enter the country on a false visa. But in Turkey, he was wanted for his alleged role as a high-level personality in the shadowy Gulen movement, accused of orchestrating a violent coup attempt in July 2016.

His mysterious journey – which recalls the highly controversial extraordinary renditions carried out by the CIA following the terrorist attacks of September 11 – is the…

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