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HomeHeadlineTurkish-American Scholar Ahmet Kuru's Near Arrest and Harassment Incident in Malaysia

Turkish-American Scholar Ahmet Kuru’s Near Arrest and Harassment Incident in Malaysia

Turkish-American political scientist Ahmet T. Kuru revealed that he faced the threat of arrest at Kuala Lumpur Airport yesterday on charges of being a terrorist. Kuru said, “I didn’t know that the main enemy of my visit was the Turkish Ambassador.”

Ahmet T. Kuru shared his experiences in a post titled ‘MY ARREST ATTEMPT IN MALAYSIA AND MY CANCELED VISIT TO PAKISTAN’ on his social media account.

In his Facebook post, Kuru stated:

“Things in Malaysia started tensely with Islamic accusations against me and my work on Facebook. I didn’t know the main enemy of my visit was the Turkish Ambassador. The ambassador claimed that my meetings at ISTAC and then at IAIS were canceled. I never experienced such a thing during my visits to countries like Indonesia, Bosnia, Morocco, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway. Turkish ambassadors used to come there to ask questions at my meetings.”

Kuru mentioned that he was harassed by police during a launch at the University of Nottingham campus in Jalan Conlay, being questioned about his hotel and passport, and interrogated by the police for 20 minutes regarding a visit by his publisher, Dr. Farouk.

Kuru later stated that a police vehicle chased them, and he tried to reach out to officials at the US Consulate, failing which he contacted some people close to the Prime Minister. He then received a message that he was ‘completely safe.’

The American academician recounted an incident on January 10th while waiting to board a flight to Lahore. He was approached by individuals identifying themselves as police, and a tall plainclothes officer sat next to him and said, “The Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia tells us you are a terrorist.” Kuru told the police this was a lie, after which the officer wanted to interrogate him.

Kuru also claimed that two other plainclothes police officers were present, one of whom had interrogated Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) founding director Ahmad Farouk Musa at a forum the previous day. He mentioned that two other officers approached them, and one of them tried to confiscate his passport, which he prevented by shouting at the officer. Kuru added that he feared being arrested and deported at that moment.

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Kuru said, “In the room they took me to, I saw the same officer who had interrogated Farouk the day before. Then a third officer appeared, followed by two more in the background. I told them I had been a US citizen for over a decade and had lived in the US for the last 25 years. I used to go to Turkey only during the summers to see my family. More than a decade ago, I wrote positive articles about the AKP as a pro-democracy party and the Gülen movement as a supporter of education. Later, I started criticizing the AKP and became very critical of the Gülenists. So, the Gülenist accusation against me is ridiculous.

I have no case against me in Turkey. I also mentioned that Turkish ambassadors in European countries came to my talks and asked questions; how can they be so hostile against me and lord over the local police in Malaysia? Why does the Turkish Ambassador think he can dictate something to the Malay police without any court documents?”

Kuru described his experience as “hostile” and stated that when the police first approached him, he had no worries due to assurances of complete safety from some high-ranking government officials. However, after the incident, he had no intention of returning to Malaysia and communicated this to the police who tried to interrogate him.

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Kuru further shared:

“If I hadn’t been supported by some Malaysian government officials and if the police hadn’t hesitated, they could have arrested me and forcibly deported me to Turkey. In Lahore, my high-level contacts advised me to leave immediately, saying they couldn’t protect me if the Turkish government came after me. I called and emailed the US embassy, but they didn’t even respond. I will never forget how a friend took me from Lahore to Sialkot and how I got on a plane to Dubai.

The promotion of Kuru’s new book was originally planned for Monday at the Malaysian International Institute for Advanced Islamic Studies but was later canceled. Subsequently, IRF (Islamic Renaissance Front) intervened, helping to launch the book, translated into Malay, at the University of Nottingham campus in Jalan Conlay on the same day.”

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