Georgia denies refugee status to Mustafa Emre Cabuk
The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia refused to grant a refugee status to Mustafa Emre Cabuk and his family members.
Cabuk, accused of complicity in armed terrorist organization FETO, was detained in Tbilisi on May 24 at the request of the Turkish side. He was sentenced to pre-trial detention on May 25 at Tbilisi City Court. Since then Cabuk’s family have been demanding a refugee status to safeguard them against extradition to Turkey.
However, the Ministry’s statement published by the Liberali edition says that extradition to Turkey doesn’t pose a threat to Cabuk due to the positive changes taking place in Turkish prisons.
“Based on the information obtained on the origin and the study of the individual profile, it’s not possible to face the substantial risk of persecution in case of return to the country of origin”- reads the document submitted to the lawyer by the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees.
The document also says that the penalty scale prescribed for the breach of the relevant Turkish law is adequate, “and can’t be considered equal to persecution on conventional grounds and can’t be treated as disproportionate”.
The lawyer of the family, Soso Baratashvili, said that the Ministry had no legal basis for refusal and the family will appeal against the decision in court. According to the law, an appeal has to be submitted within a month.
The lawyer plans to hold a press-conference on July 10 with Mustafa Cabuk’s spouse Tuba Cabuk.
Turkish citizen Mustafa Emre Cabuk has been living in Georgia for several years, and has been engaged in educational activity in the country since 2002. He was the director of Private Demirel College and a teacher at the Shahin School in Batumi.
Cabuk’s detention was preceeded by the visit of Turkish PM Binali Yildirim in Tbilisi.
Demirel College and several institutions of Chaglar education network in Georgia are named after Fetuhullah Gulen, a suspect behind a military coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July 2016. The Turkish government directly attacked the Shahin schools opened in Turkey by Gulen, calling it “a place nurturing terrorists”.