4th September, 2023

Shame and disappointment for the extradition of Kenan Ayas to the German authorities by Movement of Ecologists – Citizens’ Cooperation

The appeal filed by political refugee Kenan Ayas was unanimously rejected today by the Supreme Court, resulting in his immediate extradition to the German authorities. It is expected that following the Supreme Court’s decision, Kenan Ayas will be transferred to Germany where he will be imprisoned until his trial for an unspecified number of years.

As the Movement of Ecologists – Citizens’ Co-operation, we express our indignation and regret at the extradition of Kenan Ayas. Unfortunately, it appears that political action and the struggle for freedom is now being criminalised.

It is with shame and disappointment that we also note with this decision that the authorities seem to be embracing the policies of the Turkish state towards people who fight through political means – such as Kenan Ayas – for the freedom of their people.

At the same time, we also condemn the behaviour of the police who arrested three hunger strikers who were outside the Supreme Court today to support the Kurdish Kenan Ayas. We call for the immediate release of the three Kurds and an end to their persecution.

The European Union and its member countries – with the Republic of Cyprus leading the way – must officially change their attitude towards the Kurdish struggle instead of giving in to the demands of the Turkish Government.

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