A group of Romanian schools associated with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen announced on Thursday that six teachers of Turkish origin were retained "through violence" in the Republic of Moldova. Moldovan media also quoted the Service of Intelligence and Security (SIS) that seven foreign citizens, suspect of links to an Islamic group, had been expelled from the country. This comes as the Gulen movement has been the target of repeated attacks of the Turkish authoritarian regime of Recep Erdogan especially since the failed coup d'etat in 2016.

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A representative of the Lumina educational group in Romania, which has Turkish owners, has said the Turkish teachers in Moldova were retained by law enforcers without the necessary documentation. She said they were retained while pursuing procedures to obtain political asylum in the country.

The institution says some of the retained individuals were taken while on their way to school, others - directly from their homes, in the presence of their children.