Former MP, President of the “Veradarts” (Return) Foundation Aragats Akhoyan today visited Turkish citizen Umut Ali Özmen at juvenile penitentiary institution. He refutes the Turkish media reports claiming that the conditions of the detention are insufficient.
Speaking to Public Radio of Armenia, Aragats Akhoyan said Umut Ali Özmen, 16, is rather “clever and calm kid,” who wants to get back to his classes in order not to lag behind. He said “Umut has an opportunity to speak to parents” and added that the latter have visited him twice.
Former member of the Turkish Parliament Ufuk Uras had earlier asked Akhoyan to help arrange the return of the Turkish trespasser, a 16-year resident of Kars, who was detained by border guards on July 24.
Aragats Akhoyan considers that if there have been no criminal actions, Özmen should be repatriated as soon as possible, considering that we deal with a minor. Besides, he believes this expression of good will could serve as a precedent should our nationals appear in their jails for some reason.
Meanwhile, the Armenian Police deny having received any communication from the Turkish side.
The Hurriyet Daily News reported earlier that the Turkish Police had contacted Armenian counterparts via Interpol to demand the release of the teenager.
“Request to get into contact with the relevant authorities for the immediate release of the person, for whom there is no warrant issued, has been conveyed to the Interpol units in Armenia,” the Turkish Interpol was quoted as saying.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyanm in turn, has denied having talked to Turkish President Regep Tayyip Erdogan on the topic.
“No one is going to hold any secret talks with any leader, especially with the Turkish President. We are not going to take any secret moves,” Pashinyan told a rally on Saturday.
The comments followed claims by Turkish Hurriyet newspaper that Erdogan had called the Armenian Prime Minister and asked him to extradite the trespasser.