Turkish teacher Çabuk arrested by Georgian court upon Turkish government’s request

Turkish educator Mustafa Emre Çabuk.

Mustafa Emre Çabuk, a Turkish teacher with a valid Georgian residence permit, was 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. The Tbilisi court has decided to jail teacher Çabuk, the principal of Private Demirel College in Georgia, for three months. It is also reported that the process for his extradition to Turkey has started.

Georgian police detained Mustafa Emre Çabuk, a Turkish educator who has lived in Georgia and has served for Georgian people for last 15 years on Wednesday, his wife Tuba Çabuk has announced in a short video and serial messages she shared in her Twitter account. The detention came just a day after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s visit to the country on Tuesday.  Tuba Çabuk has also expressed his concerns and fear that her husband could be tortured if he is deported to Turkey.

Stating that her husband Mustafa Emre Çabuk is the general manager of several schools that were opened by German Businessmen in Georgia, Tuba Çabuk said that “I a really curious to find out political negotiation behind the detainment of my spouse as it happened just after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s visit to Georgia on Tuesday.”

Tuba Çabuk has continued to state that the Georgian police, who detained her husband in early morning on Wednesday, informed them that it was not due to his husband’s legal problems in Georgia but the request of Turkish government they detain him. “I am extremely worried of extradition of my diabetic spouse to Turkey where hundreds of thousands of people suffer from all kinds of inhumane torture which results in deaths,” said Tuba Çabuk.

Reminding that her husband has never left Georgia even in the hard times of the country like 2008 war, she said “He sees Georgia as his second homeland. During last 15 years my husband has contributed to Georgia by upbringing young generations for the country. Now, I am expecting the same adherence to my spouse from the Georgian government officials and the Georgian people as he has worked for betterment of educational success of the country for all these years.”

Tuba Çabuk has also called international human rights organizations to act urgently over his husbands illegitimate detention and said that “I am expecting help for my husband firstly from European countries and then from all international organizations as he has sacrificed all his life to the education of the young generations.”

In a similar incident, Turkish educators Turgay Karaman and İsmet Özçelik, who were turned over to Turkey by Malaysian government under questionable circumstances with a total disregard to due process and fair trial protections, were arrested by a an Ankara court and put behind the bars over their alleged links with the Gülen movement on Wednesday.

It was also reported by pro-government news sources that businessman İhsan Aslan, who was also deported illegally from Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian government, was released by the same court under judicial probe.

Turgay Karaman, the principal of prestigious Time International School, İhsan Aslan, a member of Malaysian Turkish Chamber of Commerce And Industry and İsmet Özçelik, an academic who has been under protection by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), were detained by Malaysian officials in Kuala Lumpur and deported to Turkey on May 11.

The abductions, detentions and extraditions of three Turkish nationals in Malaysia as part of clandestine operation by Turkey’s state security services in cooperation with Malaysian police had exposed Turkish government’s extensive spying and profiling activities targeting critics of the authoritarian regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on foreign soil.

Alettin Duman, one of founders of Time International School, and Tamer Tıbık, the General Secretary of the Malaysian Turkish Chamber of Commerce And Industry, were abducted in Kuala Lumpur last year, only to appear in Turkish prison in Ankara months later after having gone through a terrible ordeal of torture and abuse at the hands of Malaysian and Turkish officials. The sixth person, mentioned by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as handed over to Turkey by Malaysia, still remains to be a mystery as of today.

Erdoğan started targeting US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen movement openly after the corruption was exposed in December 2013 that incriminated the president and his family members, and later accused Gülen and the movement of being behind the failed coup of July 15, 2016 that he himself called as “gift from the God.”

Fethullah Gülen, however, rejected the accusations and has called for an independent international commission to be set up to investigate the coup attempt. The Turkish government has failed to present any evidence linking the movement to the abortive coup or any violence.

According to a statement from Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on May 6, 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.

May 25, 2017

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