Mar 01 2018

Czech Republic hits back at Turkey’s terror accusation

The Czech Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement strongly rejecting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusation that the Czech government supported terror.

Erdoğan harshly rebuked Czechia for releasing former Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim, after the the Syrian Kurdish politician was detained during a high-level conference in Prague last Sunday. A Prague court order his release on Tuesday.

Turkey is currently fighting armed Kurdish groups in northwest Syria that are attached to the PYD, which Ankara considers the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a group that has been in conflict with Turkish armed forces for decades.

Remarkably, the Czech statement, which “strongly rejects any accusation of supporting international terrorism,” also calls into question whether Turkey had filed any extradition request for Muslim.

According to the statement, the Czech Republic cannot have breached any of its international legal obligations, because the court that met on Tuesday did not conclude extradition proceedings.

“If Turkey delivers the request for S. Müslüm's extradition, the competent Czech authorities will process it in accordance with the said Convention and the law of the Czech Republic,” the statement reads. “In this context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic hereby strongly rejects any allegation that today's decision of an independent court might violate the obligations of the Czech Republic in the area of fight against international terrorism.”

Click here to read the Czech Republic's statement in full.