4th September, 2023

NO TO THE EXTRADITION OF THE KURDISH FIGHTER KENAN AYAZ by GATE 9

Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayaz was arrested Thursday at Larnaca airport as he was about to travel to Austria and then Sweden to be reunited with his family.

Kenan is a recognised political refugee in Cyprus and has been here for at least 13 years. His arrest at Larnaca airport was made by Cypriot police on the basis of a warrant issued by the German state, which accused him of involvement in a terrorist organisation.

His extradition to Germany by the Cypriot state will also mean his extradition to Turkey, since the German state is in close cooperation with the Turkish state, especially in matters of criminal prosecution of Kurdish fighters. 

Kenan is an important figure in the Kurdish freedom movement and has already spent 20 years in Turkish prisons enduring horrific torture.

Despite what he went through, after his release he left Turkey and continued to lecture wherever he was invited in Europe spreading the messages of universal emancipation and anti-capitalist resistance of the Kurdish freedom movement.

For a Kurdish man and woman to continue their struggle in Europe can mean imprisonment and extradition to Turkey or even direct assassination by secret services as the assassinations of Kurds and Kurds in Paris on 23/12/22 and 9/1/13 showed us.

The story of Kenan is the same as the story of Kormaz Cherkez in 2019 in Cyprus. Despite the legacy left by the historic decision of the court not to hand over a Kurdish fighter like Cherkez to the German state, we see again today the same game against the Kurdish people with the case of Kenan.

The main reason for the criminal prosecution of Kurds and Kurdish people internationally is the fact that the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party of Kurdistan) is considered a terrorist organisation by the majority of Western countries, especially NATO. That is why among the Kurdish movement’s cold demands is to take the PKK out of the list of terrorist organizations.

The Kurdish people and their struggle, which is a struggle for the internationalist solidarity of the peoples against imperialism, is being judged in the face of Kenan.

By executing the arrest warrant, let alone daring to hand over Kenan to Germany, the Cypriot state is aligning itself with the war of the Turkish nato state against the Kurdish people.

We as Gate 9 are always on the side of the peoples fighting for their freedom and self-determination. We stand by those who still keep the message of the revolution alive and we have unreserved respect for fighters like Kenan Ayaz who did not bend in prison and dedicated their entire lives to the struggle for a better world.

Tomorrow Tuesday, at 9 am, the case of Kenan Ayaz will be heard in the Larnaca courts, we invite those who can support with their presence.”

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