Georgian Prosecutor applies to court for deportation of jailed Turkish educator Çabuk to Turkey

Turkish educator Mustafa Emre Çabuk.

The Chief Prosecutor Office of Georgia has reportedly applied to Tbilisi Provincial Court for deportation of Mustafa Emre Çabuk, who was detained last year over the request of the Turkish government led by autocratic Presindent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, to Turkey.

According to a statement released in the official website of the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office, the office has applied to the related court and requested the deportation of Çabuk, who was detained on May 24, 2017, from Georgia to Turkey in the framework of a bilateral agreement between the two countries. Çabuk was the principal of Özel Demirel College in the country, which is affiliated with the Gülen movement.

Reminding that Çabuk’s claim for refugee status and application for asylum were not granted by Georgian authorities, the statement has added that “So, there is no longer any obstacles in international agreements, the internal laws and legislation of Georgia before the extradition of this person.”

It was also reported that Tbilisi Provincial Court to meet in coming days to deliberate the deportation of Turkish educator Mustafa Emre Çabuk to Turkey.

Çabuk, a Turkish teacher who has lived in Georgia and served for Georgian people for last 15 years, has a valid Georgian residence permit. However, he had been detained and sent to prison by a Tbilisi court hours after he was detained by Georgian police upon a request by Turkish government, according to wife Tuba Çabuk.

Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan has already called on foreign governments to punish the followers of the Gülen movement in their own countries. A small group of countries including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan and Myanmar have so far handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request even though some of those victims had refugee status with the UN. On some occasions, Turkish operatives were also involved in forced return of the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 2, 2018. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “Even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”

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