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Turkish national in second court appearance since arriving in Northern Ireland six months ago

Turkish national previously refused entry into UK on two occasions in 2015

Police pub

A Turkish national has appeared for the second time in court during his six month stay in Northern Ireland.

Court heard that the 23-year-old handed police a Cypriot identity card after police attended the scene of an ongoing incident in Newry.

Yekta Ozturk, 23, of Corn Market, pleaded guilty to obstructing police and possessing a false identity document at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

A previous charge of common assault was withdrawn with the defendant being issued a caution.

Court heard that on September 15, at around 2am, police attended an ongoing assault on Lower Catherine Street, Newry.

It was alleged that Ozturk punched the injured party as they attempted to break up an ongoing fight.

When spoken to by police the defendant gave them a name and a Cypriot identification card.

Officers later discovered that Ozturk was, in fact, a Turkish national and had been refused entry into the United Kingdom on two occasions in 2015.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated that the defendant had lived in the UK for around two and a half years, with the last six months spent in Northern Ireland.

He said his client was “entitled to asylum” and left Turkey due to unrest in the country.

Speaking of the night in question Mr Lannon stated: “He went on a night out and got embroiled in an assault because drink was taken.”

He added: “This will surely have an impact as one knows the view immigration will have on this offence.”

Mr Lannon admitted: “In the short time Mr Ozturk has been in Northern Ireland this is his second appearance after a drink driving offence in August, but nothing has happened since then.”

He also pointed out that given the defendant’s lack of English he may have had a contest on whether he understood the contents of the document he handed to police.

Mr Lannon stated: “This is an industrious young man with chef skills. The only reason he is not in employment is because he is not allowed to work through immigration.”

Ozturk was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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