28th November, 2023

Regarding the persecution and imprisonment of Kenan Ayas

 

Kenan Ayas was extradited by the cypriot to the german state, where he is now being charged for being involved with a terrorist organisation.  Kenan was not late in realising the brutal reality of injustice and dominance, since from his teenage years he was displaced by the fascist Turkish state, while he saw members of his family and his comrades be martyred. He himself was imprisoned in Turkey, where for 20 years, as a political prisoner, he was put through brutal torture for his ideas and political beliefs. This being the main reason why Kenan requested and received political asylum in cyprus where he has been living since 2010- while continuing his political and ideological work in Europe.

Even though he had received political asylum, Kenan was arrested on the 15/3/2023 for alleged involvement in a terrorist organisation- after a European arrest warrant was issued by Germany. Immediately he was tried in the Larnaca provincial court, and his extradition was approved. The legal team made an appeal, and a second trial followed- in this fiasco the cypriot state without much deliberation decided to give up the Kurdish activist to the german state, where he will be trialled for the same reasons he ended up on the island as a political refugee.

It is important to note that the extradition of a Kurdish activist from cyprus is a new phenomenon, and contrasts the long term support the Kurdish people have received on the island, from the very start of their persecution. This stemmed from the local narrative of a national liberation struggle under the umbrella of the common enemy. The absence of bridges between the Kurdish community with the wider extra-parliamentary and radical left gave a footing to nationalist and populist politicians, parties, and journalists to use the Kurdish movement for freedom for their own agendas. While the theoretical framework and the organisational structures of the Kurdistan’s Workers Party changed, developed, and shifted- especially after the abduction of Ocalan and the adoption of the new paradigm- it is a fact that in cyprus the perspective stayed stuck in the old perception of the movement. While the new paradigm theorised then put into practice the self-organisation of society, the peaceful coexistence of peoples and communities, the autonomy and liberation of women as well many other struggles- the toxic narratives of the past as well as the dangerous and manipulative narratives we come across in the cypriot public sphere being pushed by the nationalist charlatans, do not reflect this in any way.

Since the decision of the cypriot republic to extradite Kenan Ayas to Germany in June, a situation which has continued up until the day of writing, he has been held in solitary confinement in a German prison in the centre of Hamburg where he will be trialled for participating in a terrorist organisation. A charge which forms part of a recurring pattern of repression against activists who defend the freedom and liberation of society across the world.

The court set up by the cypriot ‘democratic’ state was a parody based on the reciprocity of two E.U. members- while based on ‘international humanitarian law’ the decision can be judged politically, legally, and ethically as inhumane and irregular. The humanism of those who dominate is once again showing its true colours. Its abundantly clear now that the struggle of the Kurds and the national narrative take second priority compared to international relations and the interests of states.

By following the judicial decision making and its processes in both relevant states it becomes evident that bourgeois ‘justice’ once again has played its role perpetuating the system’s oppression on all those who are fighting to break the ongoing centralization of power. It being one of the most important pillars of authority with a clear institutional role, it enforces the state’s justice as the only acceptable option. Thus, the normalisation of this effectively makes innocent all those who serve the state and para-state and by extension punishes, eradicates, silences, humiliates and takes revenge upon all those who resist oppression and its authoritarian logic.

We don’t expect anything from the states and their bourgeois justice, neither are we trying under any circumstance to improve the world of the authoritarians. Our only defence against the dominant trend of revanchism is active solidarity, to break the political and physical isolation which is being enforced by the state onto our imprisoned comrades. We are obligated to stand tall in the fights of those imprisoned and persecuted, so that our rage can become a crack in the current reality. Revolutionary integrity cannot be bought and will not be justified to the executers of freedom.

The fight for freedom continues in Cyprus, right after his extradition, initiatives from the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space, the legal team, and representatives from the Kurdish movement in cyprus have created a humanitarian monitor. It has as its main axioms being defending, informing and promoting struggle for the freedom of Kenan. The fight has moved to Hamburg where comrades had formed their own solidarity network.

On Friday 3/11, after 8 months of confinement Kenan was led again to the dock- with people being there in solidarity both inside and outside the court who in turn are facing the injustice enforced by authoritarian state structures onto those who struggle. Inside the courtroom, under an asphyxiating police presence, another court case parody played out. The prosecutors and judges were irreconcilable and alongside with the police did not hesitate to demonstrate their authority and power over the court and the area outside the courthouse. While Kenan displayed dignity and maintained his pride in the room- in this well set up parody court Kenan is provided insufficient translation with the interpreter barely being able to read german* while the court also banned the interpreter he had himself appointed to translate for his own trial. While his cypriot co-lawyer Efstathios E. was silenced.

The struggle to liberate Kenan in Cyprus lasted only a few weeks, while tensions were steadily increasing up until the final decision by the supreme court. Leaving behind long term issues i.e., the struggle to create a nation-state in Kurdistan and the involvement/use of the topic by nationalist elements, we decided to move forward and announce our presence in the historic struggle. Kenan in his 16-day long hunger strike gave a battle until the last moment alongside a wave of solidarity from society. What took place was a struggle embraced by different groups, factions, organisations, and collectives on the island, with their being a strong presence from people from the anarchist and antiauthoritarian space- since the trial of Kenan was a fight for freedom that we could not stay on the sidelines of. Initiatives from the anarchist anti-authoritarian space played a crucial role throughout, putting their bodies on the line in hunger strikes, channelling their injustice and rage in long assemblies, organising protests, postering as well as graffiti and banner drops on main roads. The Kurdish community and the solidarity movement were faced up with repressions, police thuggery, physical violence and arrests.

However it was, and still is, our obligation to show the injustice and conspiracy of the state authority against activists. Thus, ensuring the people are well informed and no longer have the privilege of ignorance. In this fight, which is still boiling, the conditions leave us no choice. We are obligated to fight alongside those who struggle in this world, as long as brutal regimes paint neighbourhoods and communities in their own blood.

FREEDOM FOR ALL PROSECUTED COMRADES.

*it’s not that he was barely able to read German, from what I understood is, that he had a hard time reading the German that was necessary for this case, because he didn’t have the political an juridical vocabulary for that

Letter from an anonymous Anarchist.

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