Saudia Arabia to pardon condemned Turkish barber- reports

Saudia Arabia to pardon condemned Turkish barber- reports

Sabri Bogday, the Turkish barber condemned to death in Saudi Arabia, is expected to soon be released, Naci Koru, the Turkish ambassador to Riyad, told the family of the convicted man, the Dogan News Agency reported on Sunday.

Bogday had moved to the Saudi city of Jeddah from the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay where he was running a barbershop, and was arrested by Saudi officials after being accused by his Egyptian neighbor, a tailor that he had argued with, of "cursing the name of Allah".

 

Saudi authorities arrested Bogday and later condemned him to death. His family had appealed the decision and demanded that the president and prime minister intervene to prevent the execution.

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President Abdullah Gul asserted efforts to save the Bogday from execution, sending a letter to Saudi King Abdullah requesting a pardon for Bogday. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also contacted Saudi officials asking them to spare Bogday's life.

 

Erdogan was reportedly waiting for the result of deliberations that continued at the top level to avert the execution.

In 1995, four Turkish citizens were beheaded in Saudi Arabia on charges of drug trafficking, despite strong pressure from Turkey. Bilateral relations were severely damaged by the move and could only be rebuilt after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government came to power in 2002.

 

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