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Cabuk Says his Detention is Political, Asks Court to be Fair

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, January 23
(TBILISI)—The citizen of Turkey Mustafa Emre Cabuk, who was detained last year in Georgia for alleged terrorism charges, says his detention was “dictated by Turkey” and was illegal as he had never committed any crime neither in his homeland nor in Georgia.

Cabuk, who is charged of having links to the FETO organization, associated with Fethullah Gulen accused of orchestrating a military coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, asked the Georgian Court of Appeals to deliver a “fair verdict.”

Cabuk and his lawyers demand the annulment of the decision of the Ministry of Refugee of Georgia, which refused a refugee status to the man who has lived in Georgia since 2002.

Cabuk says he wants to live in Georgia and continue supporting educational activities in the country.

He claims the only reason he was detained was that he shared the views and ideology of Gullen, “which is not a crime.”

Cabuk told the court that for many years he had served the Georgian interests and accommodated and fed many Georgians who suffered losses due to the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Cabuk says that if Georgia extradites him to Turkey, his rights will be violated.

Georgia’s former Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili, who worked on Cabuk’s issue, had addressed the Refugee Ministry to annul his refusal as it was “ungrounded.”

Cabuk has been in pre-extradition detention since May 2017.

Georgia’s Refugee Ministry claims that Cabuk and his family did not provide enough argumentation to be granted the refugee status. The Ministry also says that the situation in the Turkish courts and prisons would not create threats to Cabuk.

Cabuk has been living in Georgia since 2002. He was mainly engaged with educational activities. Since 2016, he had been serving as a Quality Management Manager of Demirel Private College.

Cabuk was detained on May 24, 2017 after the official visit of Turkish Prime Minister (PM) and members of Cabinet to Georgia.