Turkish Cyprus says it was wrong to extradite celebrity who insulted Turkey

The breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration in northern Cyprus said it was wrong to have extradited celebrity fashion designer Barbaros Şansal to Turkey last year to face charges of insulting the country, left-nationalist news website OdaTV said.

Şansal was extradited by Turkish Cypriot authorities to Turkey in January last year after he told Turkey to “drown in your own shit” in an alcohol-fuelled new year’s message on Twitter. A waiting crowd at Istanbul Atatürk Airport beat him up as he left the aircraft and he was then arrested. After time in prison in Turkey, Şansal moved to Belgium.

Turkish Cypriot Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars said the deportation had been illegal.

“The prosecution’s view has been considered and the decision has been made that this was illegal,” she said.

“The deportation decision was also cancelled. Barbaros Şansal has also withdrawn his cases against the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” Baybars said.

Şansal told Turkish Cypriot media he would still like an apology from the unrecognised statelet.