From: Exit Staff
Albanian Court Rejects Turkish Citizen’s Asylum Request in Lawsuit against Government

The Administrative Court has rejected a lawsuit by Turkish citizen Selami Simsek against Albanian asylum authorities.

Simsek sued the Ministry of Interior after it rejected his asylum application in Albania, and asked the court to reverse the decision and grant him asylum.

He has the right to appeal the court’s decision on Tuesday.

On July 2, Albanian authorities rejected Simsek’s asylum application. Turkey demanded the extradition as it claims he is a Gulenist.

The Turkish government claims that the failed 2016 coup d’etat was masterminded by Fethullah Gulen. In the subsequent years, the government has cracked down on academics, journalists, teachers, activists, and workers in the civil service that it claims are linked to the uprising.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been accused of using the failed coup as an excuse to tighten his grip on the country.

The rejection of the asylum application means that Simsek should be extradited to Turkey – where the Gulenist movement is called ‘terrorist’ and its supporters are imprisoned and mistreated.

Simsek was arrested along with another Turkish citizen, Harun Celik, while travelling to Rinas Airport, transit to Canada with fake passports.

The Albanian government has been criticised for their treatment of Turkish citizens who have been extradited, or who are planned to be deported back to Turkey. In January this year, the EU reminded the government of its human rights obligations after they deported Harun Celik back to Turkey, despite him asking for political asylum.

The Albanian Ombudsman said the government had violated all possible laws. The United Nations said that Albania is complicit in Extraterritorial Abductions and forced disappearances of Turkish nationals.