European Parliament member and Co-President of Euronest PA Rebecca Harms on Tuesday called on the Georgian government not to extradite Mustafa Emre Çabuk to Turkey.
The Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday that a Georgian prosecutor asked the court for the extradition of Çabuk, a Turkish school administrator who was detained on May 24, 2017 by Georgian authorities based on a request from the Turkish government.
“I am worried if the court satisfies the prosecutor’s application on Tuesday, Mr. Çabuk may be extradited to Turkey before he even can apply for the final internal remedy at the Constitutional Court. Considering the current constitutional crisis in Turkey, the disrespect of decisions of the Constitutional Court by local courts and the erosion of rule of law it is not acceptable to follow Turkey’s extradition requests,” Harms said in a letter obtained by Turkish Minute to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the prime minister of Georgia.
“Furthermore, there is a very serious threat that Mr. Çabuk may face ill treatment or worse when he is being extradited to Turkey,” Harms added.
Underlining that she has also addressed her concerns to High Representative Federica Mogherini and to Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Harms said: “I hope that they might be able to support you and the Georgian authorities to withstand the pressure exerted by the Turkish authorities.”
Expressing her gratitude for the support of the Georgian authorities that allowed her to visit Mustafa Emre Çabuk in prison in July 2017, the EP’s Harms said she is currently seeking support for a second visit next week.
In the letter Harms said: “Mr. Mustafa Emre Çabuk has been working and living in Georgia for the last 15 years as teacher and General Manager of a large education facility that includes several private schools in the country with the enrolment of over 2000 students.
“Mr. Çabuk [was] detained in May 2017 by the Georgian authorities based on the request from the Turkish government that suggests that Mr. Çabuk has been involved in the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Mr. Çabuk has not even been in Turkey for the last 3 years. He has been kept in prison for his extradition and his application for political asylum has been refused.”
Harms also took Çabuk’s case to the European Commission’s Mogherini and Hahn in a letter.
“I am writing to you to urge you to take action regarding the situation of Mr. Mustafa Emre Çabuk in Georgia. I kindly request you to persist in engaging with the Georgian government in order to secure Mr. Çabuk’s release from prison and avoid extradition to Turkey,” Harms said in the letter.
“I am worried if the court satisfies the prosecutor’s application on Tuesday, Mr. Çabuk may be extradited to Turkey before he even can apply for the final internal remedy at the Constitutional Court. Therefore, I am kindly urging you to get in contact with [the] Georgian Government not to let Mr. Çabuk to be extradited to Turkey where he will face ill treatment or worse. Considering the current constitutional crisis in Turkey, the disrespect of decisions of the Constitutional Court by local courts and the erosion of rule of law it is irresponsible and not acceptable to follow Turkey’s extradition requests,” Harms said.