Greek PM- it is for the judicial authorities to decide on the extradition of Turkish soldiers

Yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras explained that he did not promise Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would extradite eight former Turkish soldiers who left Turkey after the attempted coup in 2016. Mr Tspiras went on to explain that he understands that the separation of powers in Greece is vital and that it would not be for him to say whether the men would be extradited because that was a matter for the juridical authorities.
The eight soldiers in question arrived in Greece aboard a military helicopter, hours after the coup failed in July 2016. In January this year, the Greek Supreme Court ruled against extraditing the former soldiers, who were released in another ruling last week. In response to the decision to release the soldiers, Turkey suspended its bilateral migrant readmission deal with Greece.

Turkey refutes claims of negligence in use on INTERPOL Red Notices against FETÖ members

Yesterday Turkey’s Justice and Interior Ministries denied reports that they had been “negligent” in their pursuit of wanted FETÖ members. They explained that difficulties had been caused by complications with INTERPOL rather than deficiencies in the Turkish justice system.

After the 2016 coup, Turkey has sought to arrest and extradite anyone associated with FETÖ, a group linked to cleric Fetullah Gülen. Members’ passports were cancelled by the Turkish government; however, the INTERPOL General Secretariat removed Turkey’s authority to add data or circulate Red Notices on the INTERPOL database. Turkey has since accused INTERPOL of denying the actions of FETÖ members which they say amount to terrorism offences. Despite the complications, the Justice and Interior Ministries in Turkey have explained that they will continue to trace fugitives and have them returned to Turkey using “the reciprocity principle”.

Bosnia rejects request to extradite alleged FETO member

The Appeals Chamber of Bosnia’s state court has rejected Turkey’s request for the extradition of an individual who was alleged to have been involved in the July 2016 coup in Turkey. The Appeals Chamber approved the judgment of the lower court on the basis that Ms Gokcen had requested asylum in Bosnia before Turkey requested her extradition. The Bosnian courts decided that there was no evidence to suggest that Ms Gokcen was a member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) and even if she was found to be a member, the organisation had not been outlawed by the Council of Europe or the UN. This decision has been made despite Turkey’s belief that the cleric Gulen Futullah and his network orchestrated the coup and their efforts, thus far without success, to ensure that other European states extradite anyone alleged to be a member of FETO.

Sixth Greek refusal to extradite alleged member of Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front to Turkey.

Today marks the sixth time a Greek court has denied Turkey’s request for the extradition of an alleged member of Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). The alleged member, Mr Agarmis, was arrested in Athens last year with 8 other alleged members of the same group.

Despite the DHKP-C being listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S and the European Union, the Court of Appeal in Larissa explained that Mr Agarmis would not be extradited due to Turkey’s poor human rights record.

Turkey requests Red Notice for journalist it accuses of espionage

A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant and requested an Interpol Red Notice for Turkish journalist Can Dündar, who is currently exiled in Germany and is wanted by Turkey on charges of espionage. He was arrested in Turkey in November 2015 in relation to a report he wrote for the newspaper Cumhuriyet concerning allegations of Turkey smuggling weapons into Syria. He was released, but has since been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for in relation to his report.  However, on 9 March this year Turkey’s Supreme Court overturned this sentence, having found that Dündar should have been charged with espionage, which carries a 15-20 year sentence.

American NGO the Committee to Protect Journalists has called for Turkey to end its prosecution of Dündar, and urged Interpol to reject Turkey’s request for a Red Notice.

Greek court rejects 3rd Turkish request for extradition of 8 soldiers

For the third time, a Greek Court has rejected a request from Turkey for the extradition of 8 soldiers it accuses of being involved in the July 16 attempted coup against President Erdogan. The court found that the charges against the 8, including attempted murder, involvement in an armed terrorist group, and involvement in the coup itself, were vague and had not changed nor been supported by new evidence since Turkey’s previous 2 failed attempts to secure their extradition. It also found that they were at risk of receiving an unfair trial in Turkey, and of being subjected to inhumane treatment.

Interpol halts “political” requests made by Turkey for arrests

Interpol has halted 50 requests made by Turkey for the arrest of people it is seeking on charges of terrorism. Interpol’s decision came after it determined that the requests were political in nature. Among those Turkey is pursuing are Salih Muslim, former leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, and senior members of the Fethullah Gulen movement, which Turkey accuses of being behind an attempted coup in July 2016.