Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on September 19 that Turkish media reports say a Turkish citizen who had resided in Tajikistan for 28 years was abducted by unknown individuals in Dushanbe on September 16 and forcibly taken to Turkiye, where he is wanted for alleged links with the Gulen movement that is banned in Turkiye.

For many years, Koray Vural reportedly worked as a teacher in Tajikistan after studying English at Tajik State University in Dushanbe.  He later opened a restaurant, called Ozyurt, in Dushanbe.  

According to a special report by the Kronos news website, his relatives say he was kidnapped by eight people on the morning of September 16.   

Vural's daughters, Sumeyra Nur and Yasemin Nur Vural, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, expressing concern for their father and asking for help to find him.

Radio Ozodi says that earlier in July, another Turkish national, teacher Emsal Koc, who had been living in Tajikistan for 29 years, was abducted and brought to Turkey, where he is also accused of alleged ties with Gulen.

Meanwhile, the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), citing the Kronos news website, reported on September 18 that a Turkish businessman living in Tajikistan was allegedly abducted on Saturday (September 16) morning by Turkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT). 

SCF says Koray Vural, a father of three, was reportedly abducted by men in masks while on his way to work.  His two daughters, Sumeyra Nur and Yasemin Nur Vural, publicized the incident on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“We are the daughters of Koray Vural. Our father was abducted by unidentified men in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe,” they said.

In a following tweet the girls claimed their father had been abducted by MIT officers and was being held at the Turkish Embassy. “He will be taken to Turkiye at three o’clock in the morning.  We are asking the international community for urgent help,” they pleaded.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a lawmaker from the Green Left Party (YSP), reportedly demanded an explanation from Turkish authorities. “Koray Vural’s family claims he was abducted by MIT.  This would not be the first time!” he said on X.  “Authorities need to clarify what happened to the Turkish plane that took off from Dushanbe airport.”

Turkiye considers the Gulen movement, known as Hizmet in Turkish, to be a terrorist organization and blames Gulen supporters for an attempted coup in 2016 that killed some 250 people. Turkiye arrested tens of thousands of people while purging the civil service and military of people suspected of being loyal to Gulen.  It has also had many so-called Gulenists living abroad extradited to face charges in Turkey.