Germany to ‘examine’ Turkey’s extradition demand

Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN: German authorities will examine Turkey’s request for extradition of former co-leader of PYD/PKK terrorist group Salih Muslum, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Berlin, Gabriel said they recently received a diplomatic note from Ankara on the issue.

“As usual, such requests are forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, it will be examined there and proceedings will continue in accordance with the principles of rule of law,” he said.

Muslum was arrested on Feb. 25 in Prague after Turkey called on the Czech Republic to arrest the ex-terrorist leader. Two days later, he was released by a Czech court on the condition that he would not to leave the European Union and appear at future hearings in the extradition case.

On Saturday, Muslum was spotted in Berlin, where he also participated in a demonstration organized by PYD/PKK terrorist supporters. The PYD/PKK is the Syrian branch of the terrorist group PKK, which is responsible for over 40,000 deaths, in a violent campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years.

Muslum, an influential figure of the PYD/PKK terrorist group, is being sought by a Turkish court on suspicion of his involvement in the planning of a terrorist attack carried out in Ankara in 2016.

The March 13, 2016, attack at Guven Park in Ankara’s Kizilay — a popular shopping area — had been carried out using an explosives-laden vehicle, which left 37 people dead and dozens others injured.

The PKK has been listed as a terrorist organization in Germany since 1993, but Berlin has not yet taken legal action to outlaw its Syrian branch PYD/PKK.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency described in its recent reports the PYD and YPG as “sister organizations” of the PKK terrorist group. (AA)