Turkey, World

Turkey takes step for extradition of YPG/PKK ringleader

Justice Ministry sends letter of request to Foreign Ministry for arrest, extradition of Ferhat Abdi Sahin

Kemal Karadag, Aylin Sirikli   | 28.10.2019
Turkey takes step for extradition of YPG/PKK ringleader

ANKARA

Turkey’s Justice Ministry said in a statement on Monday it conveyed a letter of extradition request to the Foreign Ministry to be sent to U.S. for the arrest of YPG/PKK ringleader Ferhat Abdi Sahin.

The extradition request came after a red notice was issued for Sahin, code-named Mazloum Kobani.

In Turkey’s request, Sahin is charged with “founding and masterminding an armed terrorist organization” and “disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state.”

The extradition request was issued in accordance with the provisions of the “Treaty on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the U.S. and Turkey.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had previously submitted a request to the U.S. authorities to arrest Sahin if he enters the U.S. soil.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen asked the U.S. State Department to issue Sahin a visa so he could visit Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump had previously said on Twitter that he anticipated a meeting with Sahin.

This was criticized by senior Turkish officials, who said that since Sahin is a wanted terrorist, he should receive treatment in line with Ankara’s agreements with Washington.

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said on Friday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would contact U.S. officials for the terrorist’s extradition if he were to set foot on U.S. soil.

Turkey views Sahin as a terrorist chieftain linked to the PKK group whose Syrian branch is the YPG/PKK.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and inFants. 

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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