4th September, 2023

Kurds and Cypriots shouted Freedom to Kenan Ayas, Dialogos

Kurds residing in Cyprus held a march on Thursday at 5.30 pm from Faneromeni Square via Ledra Street to Eleftherias Square and from there to the Central Prison – AKEL was also present. The demand is for the release of Kenan Ayas, who is being held in the Central Prison for his alleged involvement in a terrorist attack. Ayaz was arrested at Larnaca Airport on 15 March 2023 on a warrant from Germany while on his way to visit his family in Sweden.

Kenan Ayas began an indefinite hunger strike in prison on Thursday, demanding that he not be extradited to Germany and be released. Ayas is currently in a solitary confinement cell.

In a statement to CYPE, the representative of the Kurdistan Cultural Centre “Theophilus”, Lambros Kallenos, said that the Cypriot authorities are being asked to release Ayas. “In Germany, there is a risk that he will be extradited to Turkey, where his life will be in danger and he will be sentenced to a long prison term,” he said.

He said that Kenan, he said, should be released because he is not a terrorist. “The fighter Kenan, as a democratic freedom fighter, did not commit terrorist acts, but made speeches and seminars on the Kurdish issue. He is not a terrorist, and he should not be extradited to Germany,” he added.

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