Turkey deports Syrian student who surrendered after arrest of his mother

Turkey deports Syrian student who surrendered after arrest of his mother
2 min read
16 August, 2022
A Syrian law student has been deported by Turkish authorities after he handed himself in following the detention of his mother.
Salah Al-Din Al-Dabbagh was accused of "insulting the prestige of the Turkish state" [Social Media]

Turkish authorities have deported a student to Syria after he handed himself over following the detention of his mother.

The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that Turkish authorities on Monday evening transferred Salah Al-Din al-Dabbagh to Syria via the Jarabulus border crossing.

Dabbagh, a Syrian law student, handed himself in to authorities after they arrested his mother, pharmacist Ghada Hamdoun, in Gaziantep and placed her in a deportation camp.

Jarabulus, a city in northern Syria, is currently controlled by pro-Turkish Syrian opposition fighters.

Turkish authorities stormed Dabbagh’s house on Saturday night, after he made a series of Facebook posts which authorities said “insulted the prestige of the Turkish state”.

When they did not find Dabbagh, they detained his mother. He said at the time that the move was an attempt to force him to surrender to Turkish authorities and posted a video saying he would give himself up to ensure his mother’s release.

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Taha Al-Ghazi, a Syrian refugee rights activist, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Hamdoun’s detention and Dabbagh’s arrest were both illegal.

“Salah Al-Din Al-Dabbagh is a student at the law faculty and is still under the clause giving temporary protection [to refugees] and he was active in defending Syrian refugees with lawyer Mustafa Bayerli,” al-Ghazi said, referring to a Turkish lawyer of Syrian origin.

Al-Ghazi said that Dabbagh was targeted by the mayor of the city of Bolu, Tanju Ozcan, who has previously made racist statements against Syrian refugees, and the head of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Gaziantep, Mehmet Ecer, over a legal case he worked on involving another Turkish politician.

Turkey currently hosts approximately 3.5 million refugees from the Syrian conflict. There has recently been an increase in racism against them, with many subjected to violent attacks and hundreds arbitrarily deported to Syria.

Syrian refugees have been blamed for Turkey’s current economic crisis, which has seen the Turkish lira dramatically drop in value and the prices of basic goods skyrocket.

Opposition parties, including the CHP, have promised to deport Syrian refugees en masse if they win the 2023 election.