Information about Turkish asylum seekers in Georgia leaked to Turkey

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AFP PHOTO / MARVIN RECINOS

Confidential information about the identities of Turkish asylum seekers in Georgia has been leaked to the Turkish government, according to a document obtained by the Bold Medya news website.

The document obtained by Bold Medya is an official, confidential document from Turkey’s Security Directorate General. The directorate sent the document to the counterterrorism departments of 24 provinces across Turkey and said 52 Turkish citizens are seeking asylum in Georgia, ordering the collection of intelligence on them.

The document, dated April 10, says the individuals who are seeking asylum in Georgia are linked to the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Normally, the list of the asylum seekers, who are under international protection, should only be known by the Georgian authorities and the UN and not shared with third parties.

The document says the intelligence collected on the people should be sent to the Interpol-Europol Directorate, which suggests that Turkey could initiate action for their extradition.

Thousands of people who have links to the Gülen movement have left Turkey out of fear of persecution and taken shelter in other countries. The Turkish government has asked for the extradition of hundreds of Gülen followers, and 82 Gülen-linked people have been brought to Turkey from other countries since the coup attempt.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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