A 45-year-old Turkish national with Passport Number U11363815, Murat Kaplan is seriously sick and has been admitted to the Connaught Hospital in Freetown.
Mr. Kaplan was arrested for illegal entry into Sierra Leone on 19th August, 2017. Since then, he has been in detention at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Center in Freetown.
The Turkish Honorary Consul in Sierra Leone, Hisham Mackie has written several letters to the Sierra Leonean authorities, pleading with them to allow Mr. Kaplan to return to his home country of Turkey.
But, all those pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Hospital authorities told the Global Times yesterday that, Mr. Kaplan’s health has sharply deteriorated over the past several days.
Mr. Kaplan’s family members have agreed to pay for his return air ticket if the Sierra Leonean authorities agree to deport him.
Given the excellent bilateral relationship between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Republic of Turkey, no one knows why, the Sierra Leonean authorities continue to keep Mr. Kaplan in detention even though his health has deteriorated sharply.
The Turkish Ambassador to Sierra Leone based in Accra, Ghana, Madam Penbe Nesrin Bayazit has expressed serious concern over the continued detention of Mr. Kaplan in Sierra Leone. “This might affect our relationship with the Sierra Leonean Government”, a Turkish government spokesman in Ankara said last night.
It would be recalled that, Turkey has been very helpful to the Government and People of Sierra Leone especially during difficult times.
Turkey sent a plane load of medical equipment to Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis in 2014.
Very recently, the country sent huge humanitarian assistance when the mudslide took place in Freetown.
All attempts to contact the ONS (Office of National Security) in Freetown proved unsuccessful last night.