Turkey set to deport Somali restaurant owner despite legal residence in the country
Turkish security forces on Tuesday detained Mohamed Isse Abdullah, a Somali restaurant owner in capital Ankara for deportation, despite having a residence permit in the country, Stockholm Center For Freedom (SCF) said.
According to SCF, Abdullah had been receiving pressure from the local police to close his restaurant lately. In July, the police whitewashed the sign of his business named “Saab” for displaying colors used by Kurdish militants that Ankara deems to be terrorists, SCF said.
Abdullah is currently detained at a repatriation center and the police closed the restaurant and pulled down its sign, SCF said.
He is facing prosecution that would possibly end up with death sentence, if sent back to Somali, according to his lawyers, who appealed the deportation decision to the Constitutional Court.
Animosity towards migrants and refugees in Turkey have escalated in recent years, as they are blamed for the country’s economic and social woes. Turkey hosts around four million refugees, mainly Syrians who fled the war in their country. Turkish media also targets migrants and refugees by hate speech frequently.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu called on authorities on Tuesday for reversing the deportation decision, saying that deporting Abdullah would pose a risk to his life.
Somalili Mohamed Sınırdışı Edilme Riski ile Karşı Karşıya!— Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu (@gergerliogluof) September 20, 2022
Bir cinayete ortak mı olmak istiyorsunuz?Zaten aylardır çektirmediğiniz sıkıntı,haksızlık kalmadı!@Akparti@TC_icisleri@AnkaraValiligi
Mohamed için sınırdışı demek öldürülme riski demek!@ankarabarosuihm pic.twitter.com/mt7vbctFvh
According to Mustafa Yeneroglu, a lawmaker from the opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), Somali migrants living in the region face an institutional racism led by some members of the law enforcement.
Local police officers have been harassing the restaurant owners and customers by carrying out random raids within the past year, Yeneroglu said in May via social media.
Yeneroglu listed aforementioned harassments such as “arbitrary calls, arbitrary detentions, pressure to shut down businesses, shouting in the restaurants, intimidation of customers, pressure on property owners for terminating the leases and forcing the change of business names.”
“What they're going through is an embarrassment for my country,” he said.
Bu akşam Kızılay'da Saab Cafe'yi ziyaret ettim. Çankaya ilçe emniyet müdürlüğünün hukuksuz baskılarından bunalan Türkiye'de iki üniversite bitirmiş Somalili Mohamed Bey ile Etiyopya uyruklu Türk vatandaşı Mesaret Hanımefendi ile tanıştım. Yaşadıkları ülkem adına utanç verici. ???? pic.twitter.com/D4Gwj069AL— Mustafa Yeneroğlu (@myeneroglu) May 12, 2022
Yeneroglu said that the pressure against the Somali migrants began after the Sözcü newspaper targeted them in April last year, saying that the “center of the capital city had become Somalia.”
Somali’den gelen iş insanları ve sığınmacılar, Ankara’nın göbeği olan Kızılay’daki iki sokağı baştan sona kendi ülkelerine çevirdiler. https://t.co/eqF9uCP0do pic.twitter.com/A1ZUPoIEdN— Sözcü (@gazetesozcu) April 15, 2021