28th September, 2023

Lawyer’s Joint press release – on the case of Kenan Ayas, Motion to dismiss charges against Kenan Ayas

placard at poster against the extradiction of kenan ayaz

On September 25, Kenan Ayas’ defense team filed a motion with the Hamburg Higher Regional Court to Dismiss the charges and release Kenan Ayas from custody.

The defence argued that the indictment filed by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office on August 3 does not provide sufficient grounds to go to trial. The indictment does not accuse Kenan Ayas of anything other than being a member of PKK. In particular, he is not accused of any acts of violence or involvement in PKK attacks. The defence argued that the prosecution’s case is mainly based on unsubstantiated information from the German secret service, mere assumptions about how PKK allegedly works in Germany and text messages that, according to the prosecutor’s reading, refer to participation in demonstrations, meetings and collecting donations. They showed that even under the broad anti-terror laws in Germany, this is not enough reason to try Kenan Ayas.

Now the court must decide whether to dismiss the case completely or at least some of the charges, or whether to send the case to trial.

If the court does not dismiss the charges, the defence has also requested the conditional release of Kenan Ayas.

They argue that the detention was particularly harsh for him and that after more than six months of detention, the principle of proportionality justifies his release. In the motion, the defence gave the court a brief overview of the severe persecution that Kenan Ayas has suffered in Turkey. They showed that as a survivor of torture who was unjustly imprisoned in Turkey at a very young age, the renewed imprisonment is very hard for him. They emphasized that the very harsh conditions in Hamburg prison to which he has been subjected. Furthermore, the defence argued that Kenan Ayas would not abscond from the proceedings if he were released but would stand trial in Hamburg with the aim of returning to Cyprus as soon as possible. Any attempt to flee Germany would be dangerous for him since he might be extradited to Turkey. There are indications that Turkey has asked Interpol to issue a red notice against him which could lead to an arrest in any country and extradition to Turkey where he would face severe political persecution. Only Germany will not extradite him to Turkey because they have assured Cyprus that there will be no extradition of Kenan Ayas to Turkey. The Court must also rue on this motion.


Berlin, Frankfurt, Nicosia, September 28th


Defence attorney for Kenan Ayas:

Rechtsanwältin (lawyer) Antonia von der Behrens, Berlin/Germany

Rechtsanwalt(Lawyer) Stephan Kuhn, Frankfurt am Main/Gerrmany, and

Advocate Efstathios C. Efsthathiou, Nicosia, Cyprus

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: