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Why Turkey Persecutes its Citizens?!

July 14, 2005

Why Turkey Persecutes its Citizens?!

On 2 February 2005, Dursun Ali Kucuk, a citizen of Turkey, was detained for illegally crossing the border into Georgia. Turkey demanded his extradition but was refused by the Georgian Government. Kucuk remains imprisoned in Ortachala prison.

Dursun Ali Kucuk was involved in the Kurdish liberation movement from his youth wherein he was regarded as the people’s spiritual leader. Although initially having some links with Ojalani, he left them because he was opposed to their use of terrorism and diversion.

Kucuk, because of his departure, found himself under double pressure with the Turkish Government chasing him because of his political views and some Kurdish groups looking trying to kill him because he left the movement and opposed acts of terrorism.

Kucuk continued his ideological activities in Germany although encountered difficulties because of the existence of the strong Turkish Diaspora in Germany which ultimately impelled him to leave the country for security reasons. The Government deprived him of his refugee status after which he had been working in Turkey and Iraq for ten years.

In January 2005 Kucuk decided to go to Germany to see his wife. Arriving first in Armenia, in order to obtain a false passport, he managed to travel to Germany through Georgia.

On 2 February 2005, however, Kucuk was detained by the Georgian police because of his false passport and illegal entry into the country and admitted to having crossed the country without a proper passport. Kucuk told the police that he was a Turkish citizen but the Georgian police detained him and informed the Turkish Government about the incident.

After locating Dursun Ali Kucuk the Turkish Government officially demanded his extradition from the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs but received a full refusal from the investigation bodies. Turkey, in turn, became more active and sent the same kind of request to the Georgian Interpol but without any results.

In the event that Kucuk received refugee status in Georgia, he would not be eligible to be extradited. For this reason, he and his attorney, Mirian Nikoladze, sent a petition to the Ministry of Refugees and Placement to grant him refugee status. The same kind of request was sent to the UNHCR. The UN approved his request and gave Kucuk a status refugee-seeker on 16 May 2005 whilst later receiving the same status from the Ministry of Refugees and Placement. It should be noted that status of refugee-seeker has a four-month term and after renewed review it will be decided whether or not he will get a status.
Dursun ali Kucuk’s attorney stated: “It was possible to release him after having received a status of refugee.” In spite of this, however, he still remains in prison.

Nikoladze further added: “I had written to the Head of the Court, Mamuka Nozadze, to hold a court action as soon as possible because there is no sense in keeping this person in prison. The Law about illegal border-crossing says that the accused who addresses the Georgian Government to grant him the status of refugee will be freed from legal responsibility.”

Eka Datunashvili