Bulgarians Outraged at Deportation of Gulen Supporter to Turkey


Date posted: August 16, 2016

Mariya Cheresheva

Bulgaria’s extradition to Turkey of Abdullah Buyuk, a supporter of cleric Fethullah Gulen, is sparking outrage for a perceived capitulation to the increasingly authoritarian Erdogan regime.

Abdullah Buyuk was handed over to the Turkish authorities on August 10 after his political asylum request was denied.

Two Bulgarian courts had blocked his deportation in March, saying that he was wanted for “political reasons” in Turkey, and that he could not be guaranteed a fair trial.

“This is a deal [Buyuk’s extradition] between two unconstitutional states in which Bulgaria’s manner does not differ much from the one of Erdogan,” Dilyana Giteva, a lawyer from the Sofia-based NGO Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights told BIRN on Monday.

Giteva called the deportation of the 43-year-old Turkish citizen an “arbitrary act, signalling that the Bulgarian government can do whatever it wants,” without respecting the will of the judiciary.

Buyuk’s case entered the spotlight on August 11, after it was largely reported by the media in Turkey.

Buyuk entered Bulgaria in late 2015, long before the attempted July 15 coup in Turkey. The Turkish government is blaming the failed coup on US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen’s movement.

Buyuk, owner of a software company, has never hidden his support for the US-based cleric Gulen, and has applied for asylum in Bulgaria, claiming he was persecuted back in Turkey. Buyuk was charged with terrorism in Turkey.

He was arrested by Bulgarian authorities in March and the Bulgarian prosecution demanded his extradition, but two courts in Sofia denied it.

After the failed coup, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that “there is a traitor in Bulgaria” and that he was sending a delegation to demand him.

Although neither a delegation, nor a new formal request for his extradition was sent to Bulgaria, the Ministry of Interior handed him to Turkey on administrative grounds, citing Buyuk’s lack of the necessary legal documents to remain in the country.

Many have suspected that the Bulgarian government surrendered to pressure from its eastern neighbour, whose relations with the EU and NATO have worsened recently.

Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borissov admitted to NOVA TV on August 13 that Buyuk’s extradition was an act “on the edge of the law”, which he justified with the risk of a massive refugee influx coming from Turkey.

“We must not allow the migrant wave to flood Bulgaria,” he said in an interview with NOVA, adding that “it is of great significance for Bulgaria to maintain good relations with Turkey.”

On Sunday, Turkish media reported on two other Turkish citizens, alleged members of the Kurdish separatist organization PKK-KC, being handed over to Turkey by the Bulgarian police authorities.

Experts are viewing the controversial deal with Turkey as an extremely dangerous precedent for the legal order in Bulgaria, an EU member state since 2007.

Hristo Hristev, a professor of EU law at Sofia University “Saint Kliment Ohridski” told BIRN on Monday that Bulgaria could face a trial before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg as well as an infringement procedure in front of the European Commission for breaching various principles of the European Convention of Human Rights.

“We have absolutely no guarantees against such acts in the future,” he said.

Hristev noted that if the escalation of tension between Turkey and the EU continues, there would be no way for Bulgaria to avoid a potential refugee influx.

“The solution is not in surrendering to the pressure of Erdogan’s regime, but in working together with the other European countries,” he concluded.

Source: Balkan Insught , August 16, 2016


Related News

‘Mission impossible’ for Turkey’s ambassadors

Erdogan has placed an extremely heavy burden on Turkey’s ambassadors. The same ambassadors for many years have been under instructions to promote the schools and activities of the Gulen movement as Turkey’s “biggest and most effective lobbying operation” and to support them.

Angela Merkel, Meeting With Erdogan in Turkey, Emphasizes Free Speech

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany emphasized the importance of freedom of opinion in talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Thursday, during a visit meant to help improve frayed ties between the two NATO allies.

German gov’t dismisses parliamentary question on Hizmet

Responding to the parliamentary question, the German government, which is led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that an extensive assessment of the faith-based movement’s organizations and foundations in Germany had failed to find any evidence of involvement in any wrongdoing or illegal activity.

Too Good to Be True

Emre Celik When was the last time you heard that? I’ve heard it a few times — here’s the story. I am now in my fifth year in Washington, D.C., having immigrated from Australia. Here I have had the pleasure and responsibility of presiding over the Rumi Forum, an organization dedicated to interfaith and intercultural […]

On Hizmet exceptionalism

What is perhaps saddest about this witch-hunt is that Hizmet is a priceless resource for any government. It serves without any burden on public funds and efforts. It is a rich source of reliable manpower devoted to selfless service and ready to raise the banner of Turkey, on peaceful terms, alongside the flags of all other nations around the world. Instead of being propelled by this free energy, and benefitting from its resources, the Turkish government acts in jealousy, and tries to destroy it.

Organization (Kimse Yok Mu?) helped 79 Syrian families

“Is Anybody There?” Organization officials delivered donations, blankets and food to Syrian families with the coordination of AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Department) officials. The president of “Is Anybody There?” Elazig branch, Mr. Onder Colak, noted that they have been making donations to Syrian refugees in Turkey since the first days of civil war outbreak in Syria.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

ISPO becomes Turkish schools’ success story in Indonesia

Panel Discussion – The Gulen Schools In Central Asia

“Somalis will remember your aid”

An iftar dinner by KYM for Thai Muslims

Factory settings of Turkey as a nation-state

Scholars: Misconceptions of Islam still abound

Turkish editor hits out at media coercion under Erdoğan

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News