ANKARA, Turkey – The Latest on the aftermath of Turkey's 2016 failed coup (all times local):
A European Union official has criticized the secret deportation of six Turkish nationals legally residing in Kosovo, saying it "raised many questions in Brussels, on due process, transparency and justice."
Last month Kosovo intelligence police, working with their Turkish counterparts, deported the six men to Turkey, where they are accused of supporting Turkey's failed coup in 2016.
Angelina Eichhorst, the EU's head for the Western Balkans and Turkey, said on Thursday that Kosovo institutions must be bound by full respect of the rule of law and international extradition rules.
Kosovo's prime minister has dismissed his interior minister and intelligence chief for carrying out the expulsions without his permission.
The deportations have been criticized by rights groups in Kosovo and abroad. Kosovo has signed a preliminary agreement that paves the way for joining the EU.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag says Turkey's intelligence agency has snatched at least 80 Turkish nationals wanted for their alleged links to the 2016 failed coup, in operations in 18 countries.
Bozdag's comments during a television interview Thursday came after Turkey secretly arranged the deportation from Kosovo of six Turkish men accused of supporting the coup attempt, sparking the dismissal of Kosovo's interior minister and intelligence chief and criticism from human rights groups.
Bozdag did not name the countries. He said such operations would continue.
Turkey accuses U.S-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the 2016 failed coup. Gulen denies the accusation. Those deported from Kosovo worked in schools and clinics supported by Gulen's movement.
Turkey has arrested more than 38,000 people for links to Gulen and fired some 110,000 public servants.