Escape to Japan: a worker of the Consulate General of Turkey to Kazan escaped after the failed coup

Kazan turned out in the centre of an international diplomatic scandal: the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (who, by the way, visited Tatarstan many times) stated that a worker of the Consulate General of Turkey in the capital of Tatarstan escaped to Japan. It all happened after the military coup and the beginning of interrogation of workers who are on diplomatic mission about their possible implication in the putsch: it seems that one of the Turkish diplomats could not stand it more. An expert of Realnoe Vremya is very surprised with the country the Turkish citizen chose to escape to. The authorities of Japan have excellent relationships with Erdoğan. What is more, this country rarely offers sanctuary to political refugees.

He escaped when interrogations started

On 28 July, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu informed the department he chairs carried out a purge of the personnel. According to NTV, particularly 88 workers of the Ministry were removed from their work. Two ambassadors are on the list. It turned out the personnel shake-up took place in the Consulate General of Turkey in Kazan too. The message that one of the workers of the Consulate in Kazan escaped to Japan was a real information bomb.

According to Anadolu agency that cited Çavuşoğlu, some members of Fethullah Gülen's organisation who work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tried to escape abroad. So, one of the workers of the Consulate General of Turkey in Kazan escaped to Japan when interrogations on the implication in the coup and FETÖ started. According to the mass media, the escaped diplomat flew to the Land of the Rising Sun from Moscow.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's department carried out a purge of the personnel. Photo: gossov.tatarstan.ru

The Consul General in Kazan Turhan Dilmaç did not comment the escape of his worker. Neither did it the Turkish Embassy in Moscow.

Self-clearance in action

A purge in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was expected against the background of constant news from the Turkish Republic about arrests and dismissal of hundreds of teachers, police workers, militants, functionaries. And the 88 workers seem not to be the end. 'The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be cleaned from these betrayers. We are taking measures. We will announce the names of the people the Ministry stops working with,' Çavuşoğlu stated.

We can only hope the scandal where Kazan was implicated won't have a negative impact on the Consul General Turhan Dilmaç's career who is waiting for a new appointment. As it is known, having saved his face and created a base for the renewal of friendship between the countries in the region, Mr Dilmaç acted as a great diplomat during an uneasy period when the relations between Russia and Turkey became cold.

Mr Dilmaç acted as a great diplomat during an uneasy period when the relations between Russia and Turkey became cold. Photo: Maksim Platonov

'The Japanese rarely offer political sanctuary'

Doctor of Sociologic Sciences and expert in Oriental Studies Larisa Usmanova who studies the history of Japan commented the escape of the Turkish diplomat to the Land of the Rising Sun:

'In Japan, I talked to both Turkish and Japanese people. The question of Gülen was not raised. If the diplomat escaped, it means he was offered sanctuary. It is quite interesting because we know the Japanese rarely offer political sanctuary. They probably offered him temporary sanctuary. But they almost grant their citizenship. Only five or six such cases has taken place in recent 10 years. Even ONU criticises Japan for not accepting refugees.'

It is an interesting moment. So, indeed, the link is quite close. He probably worked there. In general, the Japanese people are neutral, especially if we take into account good relations with Turkey, the support of Gülen's followers looks questionable. I don't know the power of the influence of Gülen's party in Japan.

The relations between Turkey and Japan has always been close. Initially, Japan oriented to Istanbul while studying the Near East. The Turkish people always felt good there. Many Turkish citizens are living in Japan. The Japanese people think Turkey is quite a close country, they have never had any difficult incidents in their relationships. There are about tens or more restaurants in Tokyo only. It means it is a private business, they are good neighbours. And these establishments have clients. For example, there are fewer Russian establishments, compared to the Turkish ones. Taking into account that our people emigrated to Japan, Turkey is responsible for the Muslim area.

Larisa Usmanova says the Japanese rarely offer political sanctuary. Photo: unian.net

The main cathedral mosque in Tokyo was erected by Tatars who obtained Turkish citizenship later. As a result, our Tatar community gave the land under the mosque and the very mosque to Turkey. A Turkish person has been working as Imam of the mosque for the last 20 years. During its reconstruction in 1985, when the old building destroyed, they asked Turkey for help. The mosque was built in 2000. So, Turkey chairs the Muslims in Japan to some extent.

Everything connected with Islam, Muslims is not negative. In 2001, when events took place on 11 September in the USA, Islamophobia started to spread around the world. Meanwhile, the number of Muslim prayer houses in Japan started to increase since then. Naturally, it did not take place because of the European and Near Eastern factor but because there were Malaysian, Indonesian people near who are also Muslim. For example, in Japan, there is no Islamophobia – they don't see any connection between terrorism and Islam.

By Gulandam Zaripova, Dmitry Semyagin, Arslan Minvaleyev

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