Turkey has opened a criminal investigation into four prominent intellectuals after they visited the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, raising questions about whether Ankara could acquiesce to Azeri demands to extradite the Turkish nationals.
Çavuşoğlu announced the investigation after meeting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on November 30, accusing politician Ufuk Uras, writer Sait Çetinoğlu and journalists Ali Bayramoğlu and Erol Katırcıoğlu of illegally entering Karabakh without Azeri permission.
However, Uras, a former member of parliament from an opposition party, said he was unaware of any Turkish investigation and that he and the others had been summoned in October to give testimony to an Istanbul prosecutor at the request of Azeri authorities. Çavuşoğlu may have been referring to this questioning, he said.
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