HomeExpertsEducator in Mongolia still fears of imminent Illegal Extradition to Turkey

Educator in Mongolia still fears of imminent Illegal Extradition to Turkey

Veysel Akcay an educator, the director of private international schools in Mongolia linked to Hizmet Movement faces injustice treatment. Veysel Akcay was allegedly involved in botched coup in 2016 which Erdogan regime accuses the global movement members. Mr. Akcay is one of them and rejects all accusations that he was not even in Turkey at the time of the coup. Although he had nothing to do with the coup, Turkish government witch-hunt for the participants of Hizmet movement found him in Mongolia.

This is what happened to Veysel Akcay, a month ago his name became a center of attention when the notorious agents of Turkish Government abducted him in Mongolia. A minivan with fake license plate and four masked assailants kidnapped him in front of his apartment.

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He was taken to Ulaanbaatar Airport to Turkey where he was kept in several hours. As the news circulated, it was understood that Turkish agents and Mongolian authorities reached no decision to take him to Turkey. A Jet carrying Turkish code was ready awaiting outside of the airport to take Akcay away but the Jet flew back to Turkey without Akcay in it. Mongolian Deputy Minister of Road and Transportation confirmed with a tweet that the jet took off without an additional passenger.

People who knew Mr. Akcay rushed to airport and due to the huge public supporters among them were his students, parents and alumni around the world pressured the authorities to demand him to be released. In couple of hours, he was freed and united with his family waiting long for him outside of airport. He was questioned by police and after the medical examination, he went to his home.

This case was seen as a sign of souring the diplomatic relations between Turkey and Mongolia. Turkey have been involving in many abduction cases around the world and now it was taking place in Mongolia. Turkey agents are known for their covert operation against members of Hizmet Movement, with the direct order of President Erdogan to the countries which are vulnerable to coercive diplomacy of Turkey.

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According to many reporters, Turkish ambassador to Ulaanbaatar was also involved in abduction case, however embassy rejected the accusation. In a tweet by Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, calls Turkish diplomat for “explanations” in July 27.

However the link is broken now.

12 hours later, Mongolian Ministry of Foreign affairs published a statement reads that it was the Ministry prevented jet flying and called it such action is the violation to Mongolia sovereignty and independence and if it is true that Turkey is involved in abduction, it is unacceptable and the whole country will oppose such actions.

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Next day, Mongolian Foreign minister quoted from a Turkish diplomat in his statement that Turkey respects the independence and sovereignty of Mongolia, abduction of persons and any illegal activities on the territory of Mongolia haven’t been conducted.

On the side of Turkey, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy refuted the allegations that Turkey interfered in Mongolian national affairs. In a written statement Aksoy said, ‘it is resentful that event in Mongolia was presented that kidnapping operation was taken by Turkey, we strongly rejected such unfounded allegations.’

Let’s note that, Mongolian general prosecutor said, the case will be investigated whether individuals from Mongolian security were cooperating with Turkish agents. Up until now, the investigation is up in air without further and concrete steps. There is no finding results who were cooperating with Turkish agents/spies.

On Tuesday, August 28, Mr. Akcay consulted with his lawyer to apply for the asylum through United Nations, Refugee Agency, but stopped by Mongolian government. In his letter to United Nations High Commissioner of Refugee, he said he asks UNHCF support him and help him to leave Mongolia to resettle in third country. His lawyer wrote that “initial encouraging steps by the government of Mongolia have been subsequently followed by actions, which have clearly exposed Mr. Akcay to the imminent risk of illegal transfer to Turkey”

There is still a fear of illegal extradition to Turkey, if he is, he will face ill treatment, torture and even death which there are documented cases coming out of the jails in Turkey every day. In the meantime the attitude and loyalty of Mongolian authorities raise questions about their sincerity to uphold the value of rule of law and complying with United Nations Refugee agency principals. Mongolia doesn’t allow Mr. Akcay to leave the country. The General Prosecutor office put ban on his travel and said they can’t comment on the decision taken. The contradiction is not only this, the authorities also said, although he was not found guilty of any crime, he can’t leave the country. Mongolian authorities are in conflict with their first reactions to the abductions case, now they act differently. Are they under Turkey pressure?

Mongolia infringes international law of the refugee as a signatory state. Mongolia is obliged to lift the ban of Mr. Akcay travel. Mr. Akcay has right to seek asylum in a third country due to his fears of abduction which he experienced once. Mr. Akcay seeks international protection through legal procedure in the frame of the national constitutional and within the law of the United Nation Higher Commissioner of Refugee. Under UNHCR definition of refuge is the person who is unable to return his country of origin because of a well-founded fear of persecution, conflict, violence, or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order, and who, as a result, require international protection.

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Abdulmelik Alkan
Abdulmelik Alkan
Abdulmelik Alkan is a doctoral researcher focusing on Foreign Policy Analysis, South Caucus, diaspora and ethnic minorities.
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