No, Musa Dogan is not an asylum seeker in Ireland wanted by Interpol

By: Naledi Mashishi
April 10 2024

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No, Musa Dogan is not an asylum seeker in Ireland wanted by Interpol


The Verdict Misleading

Musa Dogan was granted international protection by Sweden and does not appear on the Interpol red list.

Claim ID 35e8f413

The claim

A video on TikTok claims to show a man wanted by the International Criminal Police Organisation, commonly known as Interpol, for terrorism in Turkey. The video identifies the man as Musa Dogan, with a caption saying, "This is what Fine Gael & Sinn Fein the Greens Social Democrats people before profits are allowing into our country. THE DIRT OF THE ROAD."  

Dogan is standing surrounded by onlookers and is interrogated by someone off camera. "Musa Dogan, you were wanted in Turkey, you were given the death penalty, and you were wanted for terrorism," the person says. 

He then asks Dogan if he was wanted as a member of the "Marxist party," and if he escaped from hospital after his sentence was reduced from the death penalty to life in prison. Dogan confirms that he was sentenced to death in Turkey, but denies that he escaped from hospital while under police custody. 

Other versions of the video on TikTok imply hat he was allowed into Ireland as an asylum seeker without being properly vetted. 

Our research reveals that this is a resurfaced claim from 2023. In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Irish Freedom Party politician Hermann Kelly posted a different video of Dogan being accosted by a crowd. He captioned the video, "Why is a convicted terrorist, Musa Dogan wanted in 150 countries for arson, bank robbery and kidnapping allowed into Ireland?" Claims about Dogan resurfaced in March 2024 following protests against "unvetted" asylum seekers in Dublin. 

The TikTok video and the post on X paint a misleading picture of Dogan’s case. He was arrested for political crimes related to his affiliation with a banned organization in Turkey. But while the organization is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, it does not appear on EU, U.K., or CIA terrorist lists, and he is not listed on the Interpol red notice list.

What we found

According to online media sources, Dogan is a Turkish Kurd. The Turkish government arrested him in 1996 when he was 19 years old, accusing him of being a member of the banned political group the Turkey Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML). The organization is affiliated with other organizations fighting for Kurdish self-determination and has sent members to support Kurds and other minorities in the fight against ISIS in Syria. 

The courts convicted Doğan of being a member of the group as well as attempts to overthrow society, violence, arson, and robbery, which he has denied. We could find no evidence that he was convicted of kidnapping. He was initially given the death penalty in 1996, which was later commuted to life in prison. He reportedly faced torture in prison and participated in hunger strikes. He was granted sick leave after experiencing medical problems and managed to escape to Sweden, where he has since been granted a residency permit.

He was arrested in Poland, Sweden, and Denmark after they were notified by Interpol that he had an outstanding arrest warrant in Turkey. The TikTok video claims he is wanted in 150 countries, but this is not entirely accurate. Interpol has 196 member states which share data related to police investigations. A person may appear on the red list when they are wanted by authorities in a member state. However, Interpol’s website clarifies, "A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant." It adds, "the individuals are wanted by the requesting member country, or international tribunal. Member countries apply their own laws in deciding whether to arrest a person."

Turkey’s extradition requests for Dogan were refused by Swedish, Polish, and Danish courts on the grounds that he would likely be tortured if he was returned to Turkey. This is in accordance with EU regulations, which prohibit any member state from extraditing a person if "there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." 

There is little information available about his life in Ireland, including why he moved to the country. However, a 2022 YouTube interview he appeared in about Ireland’s housing crisis indicates he has been in the country for at least two years. 

The verdict

A TikTok video claims that a Turkish man in Ireland named Musa Dogan is wanted by Interpol for crimes related to terrorism and other offenses. But the video paints a misleading picture, as Dogan was given EU residency by Sweden following the country’s refusal to extradite him to Turkey because he faced the threat of torture if he returned. Also, he does not appear on the Interpol Red Notice list. We have therefore rated this claim as misleading. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before