Turkey: Somali citizen to be deported, says "he's been bullied because he's black"
Mohamed Isse Abdullah, an African cuisine restaurant owner in Ankara who became headlines because of the threats he received was once again sent to a removal center to be deported. Abdullah's lawyer, Halim Yilmaz, speaking to Seda Taskin of +GercekNews, argues that the decision is not lawful and says that if his client is sent back, his life will be in danger.
Somali citizen Mohamed Isse Abdullah, one of the partners of Saab Restaurant in Ankara, who became headlines over police raids and threats, was detained four days ago to be deported. The decision to deport Abdullah is based on the allegation of him working without permission. Abdullah's lawyer Halim Yilmaz, on the other hand, states that Muhammed kept on the right side of the law and says that the court overlooked this. Yilmaz points out that partnership with a company does not mean actual work and that being a company owner or partner does not require a work permit.
Living in Turkey since 2013, Abdullah graduated from two universities in Turkey and started a family here. Abdullah was detained last year for deportation as well. He was threatened by the police on the grounds that the writings on the Saab Restaurant sign were not in Turkish and had yellow, red, and green colors, the colors of the Kurdish national flag.
Last year, he was asked to move the Saab Restaurant from Kizilay to another location, and when he did not accept this, he was detained. The police told him, "We don't want black people in the middle of Kizilay." Evaluating the pressure before he was taken into custody, Abdullah said that the visibility of black people created an inconvenience in the police department.
A second deportation decision was made for the Somali Mohamed Isse Abdullah, who has been subjected to racist pressure for a long time and was transferred to Akyurt Removal Center after being detained. Evaluating the decision about Abdullah, Yilmaz says that they filed an annulment case in the administrative court for the second decision and reported this to the Ankara migration management.
"It is no coincidence that Abdullah has been detained again"
Yilmaz said that one of Abdullah's friends who was sent back to Somalia from Turkey was killed by a terrorist organization in Somalia and that if Abdullah is sent back, his safety will be endangered. Stating that Abdullah applied for asylum again while this process was going on, Yilmaz states that if Abdullah goes to another country, he will be banned from entering Turkey. Yilmaz continues as follows:
“Abdullah was previously detained on the grounds of working without permission, the decision was given, but he was later released. The administrative court rejected the lawsuit filed for the annulment of the deportation decision. Following this, we applied to the Constitutional Court and the legal process still continues. While this process was going on, my client Abdullah was detained again four days ago. This is not a coincidence. The day he was detained, he was quickly handed over to the Migration Management and the decision to be deported for the second time was given, and his travel documents were requested from the Consulate at the same time. The written reason for the second deportation decision was that he constituted a threat to public order and that he did not have a legal residence permit in Turkey. A new decision about him would mean a new process. We have filed a new annulment lawsuit against this new decision. We also filed a lawsuit for his release.”
Yilmaz, stating that although Abdullah has been in Turkey for many years, and that he has not been involved in any crime, said: “But the treatment of Saab Restaurant, the police coming to the restaurant about 50 times in a year, the harassment of the business, the owner and the customers and the discrediting of the business are caused simply because of them being black and not wanted in a central location. We understand this from all these practices. When we take all of these into consideration, Abdullah was chosen as a victim here and they are going after him.”
Claiming that the Police and Migration Management turned this situation into a personal issue, Yilmaz says that the statute on immigration is clear on returns. Saying that the ban on returns is one of the most fundamental issues of immigration law, Yilmaz said: “If there is a danger of persecution in the country to which they will be sent, the person should not be sent back. We wait for the Constitutional Court's decision regarding the first decision, in addition, we are waiting for the decision of the Ankara Administrative Court for the new decision. In addition to these, we have filed a lawsuit for his release and we are waiting for the result. All the powers are at the Migration Management, we hope that they will take a humane approach to Mohammed’s situation. There are quite a few examples of positive outcomes when the authorities intervene. We do not want anything bad to happen to Mohammed, just like the young person who was sent to Egypt to be executed.”
“I am being bullied because I am black”
Yilmaz, who shared the message that Abdullah sent through his lawyers at the Akyurt Removal Center, states that Abdullah is very sad and worried about what he went through. Abdullah also states that he is very pleased with Turkey's aid to Somalia, but he was bullied because he was black, and this situation upsets him greatly. Abdullah's biggest fear is that his life will be in danger after he is sent back to Somalia. In a similar situation, his friend Abdulkerim Ishak from the Faculty of Divinity of the Samsun May 19 University returned to Somalia after his residence permit application was refused, but he was killed by a terrorist organization a few months ago.
Yilmaz claimed that the officers at the Removal Center where Abdullah was detained tried to force him to sign a "voluntary return form." Yilmaz stated that a voluntary return form cannot be signed by an asylum seeker whose administrative case is still ongoing, but that the immigration officers tried to get Abdullah to sign this form in order to get around the deportation ban in the law.