Mar 06 2018

Germany to treat Turkish extradition request according to the law

Germany will process Turkey's request for the extradition of Syrian Kurdish former party leader Salih Muslim according to the rule of law, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told a joint news conference with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Muslim is the former head of the predominantly Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syria's main Kurdish party. The armed wing of the PYD is currently defending the northwestern Syrian enclave of Afrin against a Turkish military offensive that began on Jan. 20.

Turkey considers the PYD an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been fighting inside Turkey for more than three decades. The United States and the European Union recognise the PKK as a terrorist organization. The PYD denies any direct link to the PKK.

"We have in fact received a verbal note from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and we will send this request, as always, to the Justice Ministry and they will examine it on constitutional grounds," Gabriel said.

Muslim was detained and then released in the Czech capital Prague last month as a result of an Interpol warrant issued by Turkey. He then travelled to Germany. Muslim said the allegations against him were false and he would remain in European Union and cooperate in any further proceedings.