G?len Supporter in Bulgaria 'Was Threat to National Security' - IntMin
The man handed over to Turkish authorities on Wednesday posed a threat to national security, Bulgaria's Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has said.
Bachvarova, however, has added the handover was conducted in violation of the law as no representatives of either the National Ombudsman or human rights organizations were present. She has made clear observance of the procedure, which must be conducted in line with the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act, lies with the head of her ministry's Migration directorate.
Abdullah B?y?k was sent back to Turkey after his residence permit had expired. Living in Bulgaria since early this year, he had filed a request for political asylum, but it was denied. However, an extradition request lodged from Turkey was also turned down in the spring.
Following the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Ankara said it would demand his extradition again. Sofia explained on Wednesday its move was unrelated to the neighboring country's demand.
On Thursday, Bachvarova told private bTV station that B?y?k had traveled to Bulgaria on fake identity documents.
"Since April he had lived Bulgaria without a valid document and will to solve the issue of his status," the Minister explained, adding he had initially applied for protection with the State Agency for Refugees, but withdrew his request after a court ruled he was not to be extradited.
Being forcibly escorted to the border, he was handed over to Turkish authorities as a person without valid documents and not as someone with a sentence in Turkey, Bachvarova argued.
She added Sofia had not traded B?y?k for another Turkish national, Faruk Bekta?, who is sought by Bulgaria over the deaths of two people in a road accident. Bulgaria asked Turkey for legal assistance on the matter earlier this week.
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