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Cabuk Asks for Special Protection in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, February 26
Recently released from 9 month pre-extradition detention, Mustafa Emre Cabuk, Turkish College Demirel Manager who was accused of having links with terrorist organization, calls on the Georgian side to include him in the special protection program.

Cabuk told Georgia’s local Imedi TV that after his release, he and his family are in danger, adding they receive messages of threats from various people.

He thanked the Georgian side for including his wife and children in the special safety program while he was in prison and called on the Georgian authorities to protect his life as well.

“I cannot loudly speak what kind of threats we are getting but I see the necessity of asking for the protection. I call on the proper services to include me in the protection program,” TV Imedi quoted Cabuk.

Cabuk’s lawyer Soso Baratashvili also speaks about the necessity to protect Cabuk and lives of his family members.

“After Mustafa’s release, the threatening messages have again appeared on social networks. We believe that his life is in danger,” Baratashvili stated.

Mustafa Emre Cabuk was released from pre-extradition detention on February 20, after the decision of the Court of Appeals of Georgia. However, it does not mean that Cabuk will not be extradited to Turkey as the trials on his case will continue.

Cabuk, who has been living in Georgia since 2002 and was engaged in educational activities, would have been regardless released from the detention on February 23 as his pre-extradition term expired.

Turkish college manager was detained on May 24, 2017, after the official visit of Turkish Prime Minister and members of Cabinet to Georgia.

He was charged with having links to Fethullah Gulen, former imam and a political figure now living in the United States, who is accused of arranging the military coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, 2016.

Cabuk dismisses any links with terrorists and says that sharing Gulen’s views is not a crime. He also stresses he was a political prisoner.

“I hope Georgian Court makes a fair decision and does not extradite me to Turkey. I have lived here for years and I would like to stay here with my family and continue educational activities,” he told Imedi TV on February 24.

The Ministry of Refugees of Georgia and the Tbilisi Court refused granting refugee status to Cabuk, which would prevent his extradition to Turkey.

The Refugee Ministry officials claim that they have “guarantees” Cabuk will be well-treated in the Turkish prison in case of extradition.

The Georgian NGOs and the opposition do not believe this and demand the refugee status for Cabuk.