2nd September, 2023

What will you say to Theophilos Georgiades? by Alekos Michaelides

A ghost hovers over Cyprus, the ghost of justice. As of yesterday, justice committed suicide before the Supreme Court following the decision to extradite the Kurdish militant Kenan Ayas to Germany. He could not stand it. It could not stand its rape and the rhetoric condemning this man and committed suicide ostentatiously in front of its building and in front of its so-called spokesmen. By those who have decided to defame our land, to humiliate any sense of justice and human dignity, in the service of the German and Turkish authorities, to send a message of consent for all that Turkey is committing against the peoples, the Kurdish and Greek peoples in this case.

Along with justice, democracy has committed suicide. The guiltily pontiopolitan attitude of the Cypriot state, in a case that should have been closed on 15 March, is a burden on this Turkish-occupied state, which should have always stood by those who resist our conqueror. And yet, 63 days had to pass before it was made public – at the behest of the President’s communicators, probably – that President Christodoulides would raise the issue of Kenan Agia with the German Chancellor. Next week. And after a thousand and two opportunities for the President, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General to intervene, so that Kenan Ayas would not be treated as a common criminal.

Cyprus, however, in order to confirm its servility, eats its children. The Kurdish intellectual Kenan Ayas, who was recognised as a political refugee ten years ago and arrived on our island to live and fight for the justice of his homeland, was also its child. Here, he made a second homeland, absorbed the agony of Cyprus and connected the struggle of our peoples, as many others have done before. As did Theophilos Georgiades, whose ghost also hovers over the Supreme Court, expressing indignation and despair at the decision to reject the appeal of our brother Kenan.

“The trial was going on inside, but justice was outside.” Since then, the decision has sat as a sting in all of our chests. Darkness and shame darken the sky, from Limassol to Kyrenia and from Akamas to Karpasia. Cyprus has been involved in the cannibalism of Turkey and Germany, in the process of ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, in the silencing of those who resist the persecution of political beliefs, however much the judges who zealously condemned Agias as a member of the PKK, which we ought to bless, not denounce, may deny it. But he himself, proud and consistent, wished freedom to those who extradited him as the police officers pushed him into the cage of a democracy.

“Freedom for Cyprus, freedom for Kurdistan”, he said and formed the symbol of victory. Because he knows that the freedom of Cyprus passes through the mountains of Kurdistan and vice versa. The thick-skinned executioners, judges, politicians and those who wished to “send him back where he came from” stood by Turkey because they do not know how freedom is spelled. Nor will they ever learn. Keep well, our brother Kenan Ayas.

 

 

 

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