4th September, 2023

AKEL: NO to the extradition of Kenan Ayaz, Dialogos

AKEL’s full support for the struggle not to extradite the Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayaz to Germany was expressed today by the General Secretary of the AKEL Central Committee, Stefanos Stefanou, in a meeting with a delegation of the Kurdistan Cultural Centre “Theophilos”. The members of the delegation, Kurds living in Cyprus, informed AKEL about the ongoing persecution of the Kurdish movement and the arrest warrants issued by Germany against thousands of Kurds at the request of Turkey. They were also informed about the conditions of detention of Kenan Ayaz in the Central Prison, who, while on hunger strike for a few days, was unjustifiably transferred to solitary confinement.AKEL has been on the side of the Kurdish community from the very first moment for the release of Kenan Ayaz and Stefanos Stefanou assured that the Party will continue to be present in the mobilisations on the issue. AKEL will also be present tomorrow 9 May at 10:30am at the mobilisation outside the Supreme Court where the appeal hearing of the Larnaca District Court’s decision granting the request for Kenan Ayaz’s extradition to Germany begins. In addition, AKEL will make representations to the competent authorities in relation to the conditions of Kenan Ayaz’s detention, given that the Office of the Commissioner for Administration has also intervened on the matter. Finally, on the occasion of the meeting, AKEL pointed out its long-standing demand for the removal of the Kurdish Labour Party from the EU’s list of terrorist organisations, a list which is in any case drawn up arbitrarily and with expediency. On behalf of AKEL, the meeting was also attended by member of the General Council, Neoklis Sylikiotis, and the party’s press spokesman, MP George Koukumas.

Today, the defense filed a motion on behalf of Kenan Ayas to dismiss the panel of three judges because they showed bias against Kenan Ayas.

 

The defense had no choice but to make this extraordinary request because the court showed bias against Kenan Ayas by rejecting the defense’s request. The defense had requested that the newspaper article quoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement about Kenan Ayas’ trial be considered as evidence and read in court.

 

The well-known German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) had summarized Erdoğan’s remarks in an article published on November 19 as follows: “The visit to the German capital had ‘opened a new chapter in our deep relations,’ Erdoğan said. He expressed his delight at a criminal trial at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court against an alleged official of the Kurdish terrorist group PKK. The man was arrested in Cyprus and extradited to Germany on the initiative of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.” (See the press release of the defense from November 30, 2023).

 

The court rejected the request for the second time, arguing that Erdoğan’s statement had no relation to the case of Kenan Ayas. It was the second time that the defense had asked the court to allow this article to be part of the evidence. The defense had argued that Erdoğan’s statements showed that the extradition and trial of Kenan Ayas was in the interest of Turkey and that Kenan Ayas could be in danger after his release from prison because of the known habit of the Turkish secret service to operate outside of Turkey. In regard to both motions, the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not oppose the request but supported it by stating that there was an obvious connection between the article and the trial.

 

Despite the statement of the prosecution, the judges showed their determination not to deal with the Turkish influence on the trial. The judges have continuously tried to keep anything out of the trial that could indicate the political nature of the extradition request for Kenan Ayas and the charges against him.

 

Now another chamber of the Hamburg Higher Regional Court hast to decide on the motion to dismiss the judges. Until this decision is made, the trial will continue as scheduled.

 

 

Hamburg/Frankfurt/Nicosia, February 6, 2024

 

 

Attorney Antonia von der Behrens, Berlin

Attorney Stephan Kuhn, Frankfurt am Main

Attorney Efstathios C. Efstathiou, Nicosia, Cyprus

 

The FAZ article “Return to Turkey: Erdoğan calls Scholz the ‘other'” from November 19, 2023 can be found here:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/rueckkehr-in-die-tuerkei-so-sieht-erdogan-seinen-besuch-in-berlin-19324031.html