A British man who has been living in Turkey for three years has been told he will not be deported from the country for a third time because of his “anti-Turkish rhetoric”.
The man, whose name has not been revealed, is a Syrian man named Abdulaziz al-Shahidi who has recently returned to Britain after living in Istanbul for three-and-a-half years.
According to The Times, Mr Shahidi has repeatedly been charged with “inciting racial hatred” and is facing a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
“He is a British citizen and has lived here for three and a half years,” said the local police officer, who did not wish to be named.
“He is an American citizen and lived in the UK for four years before he came to Turkey.”
The officer added that Mr Shahidis’ supporters have called for his deportation to the United States, and that the UK has a “special relationship” with Turkey.
Despite repeated attempts to reach Mr Shahis family, there was no immediate response from the man’s lawyer.
“The reason we can’t contact him is because he is currently in Turkey,” the officer said.
A spokesperson for Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Mr Shahidi is a refugee, but his status has not changed.
He is an Iranian refugee who is currently living in the United Kingdom and who is being allowed to stay in the country because he has a British passport.”
Meanwhile, a group of British Muslim clerics, including the country’s biggest imam, have also written to the Home Office to demand Mr Shahidis removal.
In a statement, the British Muslim Council said: We have been receiving a large number of calls from the public for his removal from the UK and for him to be deported, because of the racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric he is spreading on social media.
“His behaviour has been completely unacceptable to the British people, who have a right to know the truth.”
In the UK, there are strict rules about immigration, including those relating to foreigners who have been convicted of serious crimes.
The Home Office said: British law does not allow the deportation of someone for criminal offences, or who has failed to pay tax, unless there is an emergency and there is clear and compelling reason to suspect they pose a danger to the public.
“We have made clear to Abdulazis family that his removal would not be possible in light of the recent terrorist attack in London.”