10th September, 2023

An apology to Kenan Ayas, by Costis Efstathiou

My friend and comrade Kenan,

I apologize to you. I apologize to you for not being asked by the leaders of power in my country. My shared homeland that you loved and believed in so much. My little homeland that groans under the boot of the Turkish conqueror, just like yours, Kurdistan. Years ago you trusted your life to it. You sought asylum and protection, hunted by the Turkish state.

The same callous state that suppresses every voice of freedom and democracy. You told us then about the oppression you experienced as a Kurd in your homeland, about your Kurdish language that you were not allowed to speak in your homeland. The torture you were subjected to when you were still a child in the Turkish dungeons that permanently cost you your health. Your family members and relatives who killed you. Your brother who died in prison from the horrible torture. You even told us about the twelve years you spent in prison as a “terrorist” and the beating you received. About the disgusting solitary confinement cells. About the childhood dreams that were stolen from you. For your compatriots and classmates who “disappeared” at night in the streets of Mardin and Diyarbakir and whom no one ever saw again…

You also told us about the Kurdish struggle for freedom and equality. About your love for the fellow countrymen of Theophilus whom you adored. Theophilus Georgiades who gave his life for the freedom of peoples. Of Cyprus, Kurdistan, Rojava, the slaves everywhere. You sought asylum and international protection in the homeland of Theophilus, whom you loved.

For 11 years you lived free – under siege in Theophilus’ Cyprus. Free in Cyprus to fight for Freedom, besieged because your heart is always in the mountains of Kurdistan. The same mountains through which freedom passes in Cyprus. As you were taught by Theophilus, whom you loved.

I humbly apologize to you because for the same reasons that Theophilos’ Cyprus once protected you from the Turkish Minotaur, you were sent back to it by the Cyprus of the willing and the boneheaded. All those who give daily credentials in the corridors of submission to please the new order. He sent you first to Germany as a “Kurdish terrorist”. Because you spoke up and demanded freedom! You are a “terrorist” because you held, they say, fundraisers and speeches for Kurdistan and freedom of peoples and that you are a person who exerts influence on your compatriots. That is your crime. You are, they say, exerting influence in favour of freedom and you will spoil the “street” of all us comfortable people.

I apologize to the willing of our ministry of “justice” for repeating like parrots the Turkish fairy tale that you are a “terrorist” because you ask for freedom. I apologise for the idiots in the “high rooms” who cannot understand that the Kurds are not Turks.

I apologise for the policemen who, carrying out orders from the “higher echelons”, beat up the hunger strikers for supporting you and who had them tied like animals to the chairs in the police station for hours. I apologize to you for being deprived of a doctor and dignity in our prisons for sending you, a sick man, by the “Cypriot Justice”, whose only concern was “meeting deadlines”.

I apologize to you for the judge who forbade you fifteen times to speak in court. For our courts who did not dare to stand up and who proved that in Cyprus justice is not only blind but also dumb, dumb, timid and when it wants to, hasty. I apologise to you for the unacceptable insinuations that the Minister of Justice impertinently left about you, a sick man in prison.

I apologize for the silence of the lambs. For the indifference and the shrugging of shoulders of those who “don’t have time to deal with the mullahs”. I apologize for those parties that suddenly lost their speech about the Kurdish struggle in view of “participating in the government”.

Once a great poet and fighter in Cyprus, Doros Loizou had written:

“For God’s sake

Do not throw

Your heart

To the dogs.”

Sorry, Kenan!

P.S. 1 “Terrorists” is what the English called Evagoras Pallikaridis, Afxentiou, Karolos and all the flower of Cyprus, the Greeks, Russians, Yugoslavs and French partisans were “terrorists” for the Nazis because they wanted freedom. Nelson Mandela was also a “terrorist”.

P.S.2 Sweden succumbed to Turkish blackmail by initiating the extradition process to Turkey of the Kurdish militant Mehmet Kokulu, hoping to break Turkey’s veto against its NATO membership. As unacceptable as the Swedes are, what ‘benefit’ were we expecting by shredding Kenan Ayaz?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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