Turkey asks Sweden to extradite former Kurdish group leader

Turkey has requested that Sweden detain and extradite the former leader of a Syrian Kurdish political party, the third European country to which it has made this request, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle said.

Turkey has previously asked the Czech Republic and Germany to return Salih Muslim, the ex-head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish group that belongs to the same Kurdish umbrella organisation as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984 and is recognised as a terrorist group by the European Union.

The PYD is the political wing of the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting a Turkish cross-border offensive in Afrin and denies any direct link with the PKK.

The Czech Republic briefly detained Muslim following Turkey’s request, but later released him.

The broadcaster said that Turkey accuses Muslim of responsibility for two terrorist attacks in Ankara in February and March 2016 in which around 70 people were killed.

The attacks were claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a splinter group from the PKK.

Tensions have increased further between Turkey and Kurdish groups since the start of Turkey’s military operation in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian region of Afrin, which began on Jan. 20.


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