2nd September, 2023

It’s cold on May nights in Nicosia, Kenan by George Perdikis

As we gather – even us few – every two or three days and demonstrate in the streets and squares of Nicosia…

As your relatives and friends camp outside the Supreme Court with their souls in their mouths and the rain lashing them, waiting…

As in your homeland on Sunday, another crucial hand in the poker game of history may be played for your people…

You, fighter Kenan Ayas, will be gazing from your isolation cell at the starry night sky of Nicosia, at the night of May, on hunger strike for a week now, without any right to communicate with the outside world, except for those stars that illuminate your loneliness and perhaps – in their dim and doubtful light – your vision of a free and democratic Kurdistan. 

Even the usually unmoved Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights, Mrs. Lottidou, intervened (after a complaint, of course) to suggest to the authorities – that is, to the allegedly sensitive for principles and values Minister of Justice, Mrs. Koukidou Prokopiou, and to the Prison Administration – that “Mr. Agias should be allowed to communicate with his relatives…”

As for the particularly active parliamentary Human Rights Committee that does not let any “metoo” -and rightly so- pass outside the door of the Kyrenia chamber in the House of Representatives, what can one say? Any comments are unnecessary.

In Cyprus we have a proverb Kenan. In the 11 years you have been here where you have lived without provoking anyone and without breaking any law, as a recognised political refugee persecuted by the Turkish regime (and not as an asylum seeker with a torn passport) you should have learned this Cypriot proverb.

But you don’t sit in Cyprus. You travelled all over Europe to speak at shows, lectures, debates etc. for the rights of your people. And that annoyed Ertogan. The fact that you annoyed the dictator was quite natural of course. It was natural that he had his buddies in Berlin after you.

What we did not expect was that your action would annoy the Republic of Cyprus, which is itself a victim of Turkish occupation and aggression.

Our proverb, therefore, Comrade Kenan, goes like this: “Where the fire falls, it burns”.

Now you have learned something about Cyprus.

It’s a cold night in May in Nicosia, Kenan.

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