Cyprus is now stained with a shame similar to that of the handing over of Ocalan from Greece to Turkey
AKEL on the extradition of the Kurdish activist Kenan Ayaz
16 May 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
“Unfortunately, as of today our country will be stained with a shame similar to that of the handing over of Ocalan from Greece to Turkey. Unfortunately, both Cypriot Justice and the Cypriot government have accepted, through Germany, Turkey’s arguments about who is and who is not a terrorist,” AKEL C.C. Spokesperson Giorgos Koukoumas pointed out, who attended today’s proceedings at the Supreme Court in relation to the extradition of Kurdish activist Kenan Ayaz.
G.Koukoumas also stressed that “the Cypriot government must not hide behind Justice, because it will not be saved from the judgement of history. The decision to execute the warrant was political, as was the decision to adopt Turkey’s argument about who is a terrorist. The government is also responsible for the conditions of Kenan Ayaz’s detention, given that after he went on a hunger strike, he was subsequently punished with a ban on communication, in effect isolation. It is also responsible for today’s arrests of three other Kurds who went on hunger strike outside the Supreme Court.
It is clear that behind the warrants issued by Germany for thousands of Kurds across Europe are the demands set by the Turkish state. But Turkey is making use of the fact that the EU and NATO have included the PKK – the Kurdish Workers’ Party – in their lists of so-called terrorist organisations. However, it is worth remembering that Nelson Mandela was also considered a terrorist when he was fighting the racist apartheid regime. Palestinians fighting against the occupation by the State of Israel are also considered terrorists.
That is precisely why today’s decision by the Supreme Court causes us concern and fear for the fate of other Kurds living in Cyprus who are engaged in political activity and fighting for their rights and freedoms.
It should also be noted that on behalf of AKEL, the AKEL Political Bureau member and MP Aristos Damianou, has today made strong representations to the competent Minister in protest at the conditions of detention of the three arrested Kurds who were on hunger strike outside the Supreme Court.