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5531 Turkish Citizens are Detained and Convicted Abroad Including Reza Zarrab

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu answered İstanbul MP Mustafa Sezgin Tanrıkulu’s parliamentary inquiry about the detained Turkish citizens abroad, on March 6th, 2017. Responding to the questionnaire in writing, he said that there were 5531 arrested and convicted Turkish citizens in 147 different countries.

3092 of these people are in the Federal Republic of Germany, 376 in Greece, 218 in the TRNC, 139 in Georgia, 202 in Belgium, 202 in Austria, 175 in France , 118 in the Netherlands, 94 in Switzerland, 56 in the United States, 62 in Denmark, 68 in Romania, 53 in Saudi Arabia, 47 in Russian Federation, 45 in Bulgaria, 33 in the UK, 22 in Iran and Sweden, and 61 in Italy.

Çavuşoğlu also gave the numbers for missing Turkish citizens abroad. Mr. Cavusoglu said that there were 42 missing people in Greece, who disappeared between 2008 and 2016 and still under investigation. “In the same period, 11 Turkish citizens in Italy, 3 in France and Belgium, 2 in the Bahamas, 2 in Ireland, 1 in Saudi Arabia and 1 in the USA were lost and couldn’t be located’, he added.

FM Çavuşoğlu also said that depending on international agreements between countries, some of these citizens could be extradited adding 293 were transferred to Turkey between the years 2008-2016.

Erdogan: It’s my duty to protect arrested Turkey citizen abroad

A few days ago, on April 26, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan answering a question about Reza Zarrab and Mehmet Hakan Atilla, Deputy General Manager of Halkbank, said ‘Zarrab isn’t my father’s son but simply a citizen of my country. If he has committed a crime, his files should be sent to our Ministry of Justice, otherwise, if he is arrested under false pretenses [and if we don’t protect him], we become a country which doesn’t protect its citizens…’

Erdogan also said he will discuss the situation of Zarrab with Trump.

It remains to be if Erdogan will also discuss other 56 Turkey citizens apparently convicted or arrested in the US while opening up Zarrab case to Trump.

Ebru Aksay

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