Demirel College and the Chabuk case
The unfolding of events around the Demirel College teacher Mustafa Emre Chabuk have raised a lot of questions in the public about the impartiality of the state. There is strong public opinion that the Government of Georgia was coerced into its actions against the Demirel College and Mustafa Emre Chabuk under political pressure from the Turkish government.
The Chaglar network of educational institutions, which brings together both higher education and general education institutions, has been operating in Georgia since 1994.
Higher education institution:
- International Black Sea University LLC
General education institutions:
- Private Demirel College LLC;
- Shahin School-Lyceum of Friendship LLC;
- Gori Learning Center of Chaglar Educational Institutions LLC;
- “Skhivi” – School-Lyceum LLC;
- Shota Rustaveli School-Lyceum LLC (Rustavi);
- Niko Nikoladze School-Lyceum LLC (Kutaisi);
- Poti Learning Center of Chaglar Educational Institutions LLC;
- University Preparation Courses LLC;
- “Tsodna” – International Language School;
- Davit Agmashenebeli School LLC (Marneuli);
- Nikoloz Tsereteli International School LLC.
Below we present the timeline of events that unfolded around the aforementioned institutions and around the manager of one of those institutions - Mustafa Emre Chabuk:
July 16, 2016 – The Consul General of Turkey, Yasin Temizkan, publicly stated that Shahin School-Lyceum, which is located in Batumi, and other schools of the Chaglar network were linked to terrorist organizations and, for this reason, he was going to ask the Government of Georgia to close these schools.
July 18, 2016 – Aleksandre Jejelava, Minister of Education of Georgia, stated that the issue of Shahin School-Lyceum would be discussed at the highest level during the Georgian Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey.
September 2016 – The Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia summoned the heads of the International Black Sea University, Private Demirel College and other institutions established by the college for interrogation. In parallel, a tax inspection was underway in the said institutions.
December 5, 2016 – By a decision of the Revenue Service, Shota Rustaveli School-Lyceum LLC was made obliged to pay an outstanding sum of GEL 443,303.24.
December 5, 2016 – By a decision of the Revenue Service, Private Demirel College LLC was made obliged to pay an outstanding sum of GEL 1,207,449.64.
December 6, 2016 – By a decision of the Revenue Service, Nikoloz Tsereteli International School LLC was made obliged to pay an outstanding sum of GEL 120,501.32.
January 24, 2017 – LEPL National Center for Educational Quality Management carried out monitoring of several institutions belonging to the Chaglar network, including Shahin School-Lyceum of Friendship in Batumi.
February 3, 2017 – By decision no. 4 of the Authorization Council for General Education Institutions, Shahin School-Lyceum of Friendship was deprived of authorization, which paralyzed the school and stopped the learning process, leaving 340 students and 117 teachers outside the learning process.
February 7, 2017 – On the basis of an application of the Revenue Service, the Tbilisi City Court, by its ruling (in the case no. 1793432), sequestrated the property of Private Demirel College LLC; the property of Shota Rustaveli School-Lyceum of the City of Rustavi LLC; and also the property of the founders of the said institutions: Yusuf Altas, Iashar Shimshek, and Jihan Akin.
February 7, 2017 – The National Agency of Public Registry suspended and later canceled the registration of the sale of stake in the International Black Sea University – which had been conducted by Resul Dikmen and Ayhan Arslan, partners of Kontrol LLC which owns a 60% stake in the International Black Sea University – to Zaper Suslu, a U.S. citizen.
February 9, 2017 – Partners of Private Demirel College LLC – German citizen Jihan Akin and Turkish citizen Iashar Shimshek – were refused entry to Georgia without any justification at Tbilisi International Airport.
April 28, 2017 – The Tbilisi Court of Appeals refused to grant the appeal of the International Black Sea University LLC, upholding the measure for securing the claim – sequestration of the stakes and real estate of the International Black Sea University LLC – which had been applied by the Tbilisi City Court.
May 24, 2017 – At 9:40 A.M., criminal police officers detained Mustafa Emre Chabuk, teacher and quality manager at Private Demirel College, at his home. From the very beginning, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia stated that the prosecution against Mr. Chabuk was carried out by the law enforcement bodies of Turkey and that the Georgian side had no accusations against him.
May 25, 2017 – A judge of the Investigative and Pre-trial Board of the Tbilisi City Court, Giorgi Keratishvili, sentenced Mustafa Emre Chabuk to three months of pre-extradition imprisonment.
May 30, 2017 – The lawyer of Mustafa Emre Chabuk applied to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation, and Refugees of Georgia with a request to grant an asylum to Mr. Chabuk and his family.
June 7, 2017 – The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation, and Refugees of Georgia refused to grant the status of refugee to Mustafa Emre Chabuk. Mr. Subari explained that, in the case of Mustafa Emre Chabuk’s extradition to Turkey, he would be held in a jail that meets European standards and would not be subjected to torture.
August 23, 2017 – The Tbilisi City Court extended the three-month pre-extradition imprisonment of Mustafa Emre Chabuk by another three months.
August 29, 2017 – By the decision of the Authorization Council for General Education Institutions, Private Demirel College failed to receive authorization, as a result of which 450 students were left outside the learning process and 102 employees lost their jobs before the beginning of the academic year.