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Kyrgyzstan arrests Turkish journalist

12 may 2011, 10:39
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Kyrgyzstan has arrested a Turkish journalist on suspicion of belonging to an extremist organisation with alleged links to Al-Qaeda, the Kyrgyz security services said Wednesday, AFP reports.

"The 43-year-old citizen of Turkey, Ali Osman Zor, a member of the extremist organisation The Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front, has been detained in Bishkek," the press service of the Kyrgyz security services said in a statement to AFP.

Bishkek detained Zor on May 2 in response to a request from Turkey, where he is suspected of abetting militants.

Zor arrived in Kyrgyzstan in April 2010, and has been working as a journalist for Turkish media.

He applied for political asylum six months ago citing alleged persecution by Turkish authorities.

The Kyrgyz authorities are yet to make a decision on his asylum request, said Cholpon Dzhakurova, the head of the Bishkek-based human rights group Adilet, who backed his push for asylum.

In the past, Zor has criticised Ankara and called for an overthrow of the Turkish government.

Zor has allegedly been a public supporter of The Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front, which seeks to replace Turkey's secular government with a Muslim Caliphate.

The group claimed responsibility for the 2003 bombings of two synagogues in Istanbul that killed 24 people and wounded 255.

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