Cıbrail Salman (25), a Kurd from Mardin (Merdin) province in Turkey, has been living as an asylum applicant in Germany for 3 years. He is a political activist and was a member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) youth branch in Mersin when he was in Turkey. But he was arrested and sent to Antalya L-Type Closed Prison for participating in an event commemorating the 33 people who lost their lives in the Suruç bombing, a suicide attack by ISIS against Turkish leftists in the Suruç district of Urfa (Riha) province on 20 July 2015.
Salman was kept behind bars for two years and then released on bail. He came to Germany and applied for asylum, and during this period he was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months imprisonment by the Turkish judiciary. But the German Asylum Office rejected Salman’s application, saying, “You can live comfortably in the west of the country [Turkey]”.
During his stay in Antalya Prison, he was handcuffed and beaten by a group of 100 guards called the “Prison Emergency Response Team”. At that time, a group of prisoners’ relatives, including Salman’s mother Fatma Salman, issued a press statement at the Human Rights Organisation (İHD) Office relating to the torture that was taking place in prisons. Fatma Salman reported that durıng a telephone call with her son the guards were tellıng the detainees, “We will kill you all here, just as we killed you all in the dungeons of Diyarbakır (Amed). We will send your bodies to your mothers.”
Emphasis on ‘Turkey is stable’
Political refugee Cibrail Salman spoke to Yeni Ozgur Politika about the rejection of his application.
“I was informed about it on 1st July and they gave me just one week. The reason for the rejection of my application was given as, ‘There is a stable environment in Turkey. You can live freely in the west of the country.'” However Salman is referred to as an “active member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) movement” and recalling that the PKK is banned in both Germany and Turkey, it noted that Salman is a “threat element” to Germany.
Germany is responsible for what happens to me
Speaking about the details of the decision to refuse, Salman said, “They used the same grounds in my file as the Mersin Serious Penalty Court used to sentence me to 19 years and 4 months imprisonment. If I am deported to Turkey, they will arrest me. Ferhat Sezgin, who was tried in the same case as me and is has been living in Norway as an asylum seeker, received a residence permit based on political asylum last week. Our cases are the same, but he got a residence permit from Norway while Germany rejected my application.”
“If I am sent to Turkey, my life will definitely be in danger,” said Salman, adding, “The German state will be responsible for anything that happens to me.”
‘They are sacrificing us for their own interests’
Salman states that he lives under constant fear of his home being raided by the German Police and being deported to Turkey.
Salman continued his words as follows: “My lawyer also said that what has happened is a serious breach of the law, that they would appeal to the necessary authorities and that he would not give up on the matter.”
Salman recalls the Kurdish activist who was murdered by an assassin in Izmir in Turkey in June.
“We all know what happened to Deniz Poyraz, how can Turkey be a secure country for Kurds?” he asks.
Salman thinks that the reason Germany rejected his application is the economic and military relations between Germany and Turkey.
“The German state is sacrificing us (political refugees) for its own economic and military interests. My nerves are shot from living with the fear that I can be deported at any time. My life is in danger in Turkey. The German state and its judiciary will be responsible for anything that may happen to me if I am sent to Turkey.”