6th January, 2024

Meeting of the Observatory on Kenan Ayas with the German Ambassador

On Thursday 4 January, representatives of the Observatory for the Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayas had a meeting with the German Ambassador to Cyprus. The following statement is issued regarding the meeting:

STATEMENT BY THE KENAN AYAZ WATCH

AKEL’s press spokesman and MP, George Koukumas and the President of the Ecologists’ Movement – Citizens’ Co-operation, George Perdikis had a meeting with the German Ambassador to Cyprus, Anke Slim, yesterday, Thursday 4 January 2024, on the ongoing trial of Kurdish militant Kenan Ayaz in Hamburg, Germany.

During the meeting, C. Koukumas and G. Perdikis underlined to the German Ambassador the interest of the Cypriot public opinion and many organized associations in our country in the development of the case of the Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayaz and conveyed the strong feeling of solidarity of the great majority of the Cypriot people towards the Kurdish struggle.

They also raised the issue of the conditions set by the Cypriot Justice to Germany, i.e. in case of a conviction of Mr. Ayaz not to be extradited to Turkey and to serve his sentence in Cyprus, noting that these conditions must be respected.

At the meeting, the recent incident of the theft of a computer of one of the members of Kenan Ayaz’s team of Cypriot lawyers during their stay in Germany was also raised.

For her part, the German Ambassador limited herself to the position that the issue is a matter for the German Justice and insisted that the German government has no involvement in the matter.

The meeting was initiated by the Kenan Ayaz Observatory, which consists of MPs, party representatives, journalists and activists who continue to inform public opinion and solidarity actions towards the Kurdish fighter who was extradited to Germany by the Cypriot authorities to face trial on terrorism charges.

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