Kurds fear deportation to Turkey

Nfter his deportation, Mahmut Tat was arrested at the airport in Istanbul. Videos show him being taken to a white vehicle in handcuffs. From outside, people are knocking on the darkened windows, shouting something. But the car drives off. “Terrorist sent to prison,” headlined a Turkish television station. Tat had applied for asylum in Sweden after a case had been opened against him in Turkey following allegations of terrorism. He was sentenced to six years and three months in prison. According to him, he had only taken part in protests. Sweden rejected his asylum application. Most recently, the Kurd lived illegally in the country and fell ill with cancer. Nevertheless, he was deported in early December.

Julian Staib

Political correspondent for northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

“If the NATO application hadn’t existed, Tat wouldn’t have been deported,” says Kurdo Baksi. The Swedish authorities probably wanted to demonstrate toughness towards Turkey. Baksi has lived in Sweden for 42 years, is a Swedish citizen, works as an author and acts as a kind of spokesman for the Kurdish community. Up to 150,000 Kurds live in Sweden. The country has long been considered a refuge for the minority. Here she cultivated her culture and tradition, sometimes even supported by the state. But ever since Sweden applied for NATO membership, many Kurds have lived in fear. “2022 was the toughest year for Kurds in Sweden so far,” says Baksi.

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