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Teachers fleeing Ankaras crackdown to be deported to Bulgaria by Germany, fear possible extradition by Sofia




A German court has rejected the asylum claims of two Turkish teachers who worked for schools affiliated with the Glen movement in Vietnam, deciding to deport them to Bulgaria, where they risk being extradited to Turkey, Turkish Minute reported. citing the Bold Medya news site.

Jlide etin and eyma Demirel, who worked as English teachers at the Horizon International Bilingual School in Hanoi, arrived in Germany on June 18 with a Schengen visa issued by Bulgaria and applied for asylum in the country. They were held at the airport for 36 days and say they expect their deportation in four or five days.

Teachers say they will not be safe in Bulgaria, as the country has deported at least seven asylum seekers linked to the Glen movement to Turkey, where they have been prosecuted.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan has been targeting supporters of the Glen movement since corruption inquiries from December 17-25, 2013, which involved the Erdoan-era Prime Minister, his family members and those close to him.

Dismissing the investigations as a coup and a Glenist plot against his government, Erdoan called the movement a terrorist organization and began targeting its members. He has stepped up the crackdown on the movement following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt he accused of organizing Glen.

The teachers said they went to Germany because they were not safe in Vietnam after the Turkish secret service illegally turned supporters of the Glen movement from neighboring Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and the United States. ‘Indonesia.

Over the past five years, dozens of people suspected by Turkish authorities of having links with the Glen movement, living in countries around the world, have been arbitrarily detained and forcibly returned to Turkey. There they are incarcerated on false terrorism charges in violation of due process rights and protections.

A recent Freedom House report on transnational repression indicates that Turkey has emerged as the number one country that has carried out renditions from host states since 2014. The Turkish government has pursued its perceived enemies in at least 30 distributed host countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia since July 2016.

The Ankaras campaign has primarily targeted those affiliated with religious leader Fethullah Glen’s movement, whom the government blames for the attempted coup, according to the report.

According toa joint letter written by four UN rapporteursdated May 2020, MT abductions tend to follow a similar pattern. After Turkey fails to secure a legal extradition, the authorities resort to illegal covert operations. Those targeted are placed under 24-hour surveillance, followed by house searches and arbitrary arrests in the context of undercover operations by plainclothes law enforcement or intelligence agents, the letter explains.

Once arrested, the target is forcibly taken into an unmarked vehicle, after which it may remain forcibly disappeared for up to several weeks before being deported.

During this period, they are often subjected to coercion, torture and degrading treatment aimed at obtaining their consent to voluntary return and extracting confessions that would inform criminal prosecution upon arrival in Turkey, the letter said.

Turkish agents tend to use various torture methods to obtain such forced confessions, including starvation of food and sleep, waterboarding, electric shocks and beatings, the rapporteurs wrote in the letter based on personal testimony.

This comes with threats to the life, safety and personal integrity of family members and relatives, the UN rapporteurs said.

Abdullah Byk case

Businessman Abdullah Byk, sued in Turkey for Glen connections, moved to Bulgaria in 2016, imagining the country would be safe for him as an EU member state.

Bulgarian courts have rejected Turkey’s extradition request for Byk. However, the Turkish Foreign Minister has publicly announced that he plans to bring back a person of interest from Bulgaria.

While on his way to a meeting in Sofia, the police blocked Byks’ vehicle. Bulgarians drove him 180 miles to the border, where they handed him over to the Turkish authorities.

In a draft report on Turkey prepared by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Members of the European Parliament strongly condemned the forced extraditions, kidnappings and kidnappings of Turkish citizens residing outside Turkey on the sole basis of their alleged links to the Glen movement and urged the EU to EU to tackle the worrying practice in its own member states, notably Bulgaria.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday that Bulgaria had violated the rights of a Turkish journalist who fled Ankara’s crackdown on dissent by deporting him without considering his asylum claim.

The ECtHR declared that Bulgaria had violated Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered the payment of 15,000 euros in non-pecuniary damage to the applicant, D, whose name has not been disclosed.

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