The messenger logo

NGOs demand not to extradite Turkish College manager

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 8
A number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) call on the government of Georgia not to extradite Turkish citizen and manager of the Demirel College, Mustafa Emre Cabuk, who was sentenced to three-month pre-extradition detention over alleged links to terrorist organization.

Cabuk is alleged of having links to the FETO organization, registered in the United States and associated with Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating a military coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, 2016.

The representatives of the NGOs, family members of Cabuk, partner educational institutions of Demirel College and students gathered at the governmental administration on Wednesday and symbolically put on handcuffs, asking for the authorities to carry out investigation in Georgia and not to hand over Cabuk to the Turkish authorities.

The protesters also call on the government to grant political asylum to the detained manager.

The head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Ana Natsvlishvili, says that if the government extradites Cabuk, this will be violation of Georgian constitution.

“The government should realize that this is not the case only one person. This case will reveal how the authorities respect our constitution and international standards,” she said.

Tuba Cabuk, the spouse of the detained manager also joined the protest. She said that she is not allowed to see her husband in pre-trial detention facility.

“I would like to thank everyone who supports us. My only wish is justice to win,” she stressed.

Cabuk's lawyer Soso Baratashvili says they have applied to the Ministry of Refugees with the request to grant refugee’s status to Cabuk and his family members.

“It the government will satisfy our request and will rant the status of refugees to Cabuk and his family, the extradition process will be suspended,” Baratashvili says.

The lawyer also added that Cabuk was detained on the basis of the request of the Turkish side.

Georgia’s Minister of Refugees, Sozar Subari, confirms that the issue of granting refugee’s status to Cabuk is in the process of consideration.

“We are studying the materials and we will make legal and not political decision based on these materials," Subari said.

The minister added that the side of Cabuk should present documents and proof that he is a political refugee from his country.

Mustafa Emre Cabuk has been living in Georgia since 2002. From 2016 he has served as a Quality Management Manager of Demirel Private College.

Cabuk was detained on May 24. His was arrested after the official visit of Turkish Prime Minister and Cabinet members to Georgia.