Turkey gives al-Hashemi, his team residence permit

Turkey gives al-Hashemi, his team residence permit

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey gives al-Hashemi, his team residence permit

Al-Hashemi and his team, including his bodyguards have been living in Istanbul’s Başakşehir neighborhood and undergoing medical treatment since April 9, 2012. AP photo

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who is wanted under an Interpol red notice on charges of financing terrorist attacks in Iraq, has been given a Turkish residence permit.

Al-Hashemi and his team, including bodyguards, were given residence permits because of the visa problems they have been experiencing in Turkish airports, an Iraqi source who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Hürriyet Daily News on 30 July.

Al-Hashemi fled to Turkey after a warrant was issued for his arrest in Iraq on the grounds that he supported terrorist activities there. The Interior Ministry took action to prevent al-Hashemi from having illegal status in Turkey after his 90-day visa expired. His visa began on April 9, 2012, the day he came to Turkey from northern Iraq. Al-Hashemi has been living in the Başakşehir neighborhood of Istanbul and undergoing medical treatment.

Due to Turkish law, foreigners are not allowed to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days without an entry and exit if they don’t have a residence permit.

Al-Hashemi is currently visiting Doha and holding talks with Nawaf Fares, the former Syrian ambassador to Baghdad who defected around three weeks ago, the Daily News has learned.

During their meetings in Doha, Nawaf Fares claimed that al-Maliki had released a number of al-Qaeda members from Iraqi prisons to be deployed in Syria upon the request of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the Iraqi source said. The Hurriyet Daily News could not immediately verify the claims.

Iraqi authorities demanded that Ankara return al-Hashemi to Iraq on the day he arrived in Turkey, but Turkey replied negatively to the request. A trial against him is proceeding in Iraq in his absence, in which he is charged with giving the order to kill six people.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry demanded al-Hashemi’s detainment for political reasons in a formal letter to the Turkish Interior Ministry, but Iraq’s demand for his return was not put into operation. Two apartments in the Başakşehir district of Istanbul have been rented for al-Hashemi, his family and his guards, who came to Turkey on April 9.