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Education institutions request Govít not to extradite Demirel College director

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 30
Partner schools of Georgia's Demirel College address the government of Georgia not to extradite Demirel College director Mustafa Emre Cabuk, who is currently in pre-extradition detention for alleged links with terrorists at the request of Turkish official bodies.

Tinatin Chkhaidze, the Quality Manager of School-Lyceum Skhivi, told journalists that representatives of the partner schools of the Demirel College signed a joint statement in which they expressed their support for Cabuk.

She stressed that five school-lyceums are among the signatories: the Rustavi Rustaveli school-lyceum, the Marneuli Davit Aghmashenebeli school-lyceum, the Kutaisi Niko Nikoladze school-lyceum, Tbilisi Demirel College and the Skhivi school-lyceum.

Representatives of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia have meanwhile announced that today they would meet with Cabuk, who says he is innocent, on the issue of granting the refugee status.

Irakli Lomidze, the head of the Department for Refugee Issues, told local media that the procedure for granting a refugee status includes two stages: filling in an application followed by an interview, after which the received information will be processed within a month.

"If a person is granted the status in Georgia, it will be either the status of a refugee or a humanitarian status, in that case the state will not extradite the person to another country,Ē Lomidze said.

Prior to the statements, a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) called on the government of Georgia not to extradite the Turkish citizen, who has worked in Georgia for many years.

Cabuk is alleged of having links to the FETO organization, which is 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.

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

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

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