Daily news with wires
Turks had landed behind bars on charges related to economic crimes.
Uzbek authorities have deported eight Turkish businessman after releasing them from prison, Radio Free Europe reported on its website today.
It said nine Turkish citizens were convicted for “tax evasion and creating shadow economy.” All their assets and property were confiscated by Uzbek authorities.
Eight of the convicted Turks were amnestied and deported immediately in accordance with an amnesty law that was declared last December. One other businessman, who held an Uzbek residency permit, was sentenced to three years in jail and a fine of more than $15,000.
The latest deportations brought to up to 12 the number of Turks freed and deported from the Central Asian country since an amnesty law was declared, diplomatic sources said.
They had all landed behind bars on charges related to economic crimes amid long-standing tensions between Turkey and Uzbekistan over Tashkent’s allegations that Turks in the country are involved in religious extremism and propaganda.
Among those released under the amnesty are five business people who were arrested last year in a major police raid on the Turkish-owned Turkuaz supermarket in Tashkent, the sources said, adding that a number of Turks remain behind bars.
Sibel Utku Bila from Ankara contributed to this report.