V4 Report: Czech Republic: Czech court orders release of Syrian Kurd leader despite Turkish extradition call. Ironically, given its past behavior, Turkey described the court ruling as “supporting terror”.
The volatile and erratic President of Turkey would label just about anyone a terrorist who opposed his agenda. There are far too many European leaders who appease and are intimidated by Erdogan, who has more in mind than just becoming an EU member.
** Sebastian Kurz of Austria 🇦🇹 is one of the few who seems to grasp reality regarding Erdogan and Turkey. Kurz has long called for the ending of Turkey membership and visa talks. More need to follow his lead. (Please see our following post regarding this subject from November 2016).
– A Czech court on Tuesday ordered the release of a Syrian Kurdish leader, causing a diplomatic row with Turkey which had sought his detention pending an extradition request.
Saleh Muslim formerly headed the PYD – the major component of a coalition that governs Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria and deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey. Muslim told reporters that the Turkish government was occupying part of the Syrian territory “with the aim to reach demographic changes,” including expelling Kurds from the land.
He was detained in Prague at the weekend at the request of Ankara, which accuses him of aggravated murder and “disrupting” the Turkish state.
Muslim told the court he would remain on European Union territory (although not the Czech Republic) and cooperate in further proceedings. Assessment of an extradition request can take months and if courts find it acceptable, the final decision rests with the Czech justice minister.
Muslim said allegations against him were false and that he was surprised by his detention, given he had previously traveled to Belgium, Germany and France.
“Nobody was taking it (charges by Turkey) seriously, I didn’t know they would take it seriously here,” Muslim said. “First of all, I am a citizen of Syria, I am not a citizen of Turkey, second thing, I am a politician.”
Turkey described the court ruling as “supporting terror”, political and against international law. “It is a decision that is a very clear support for terror. The decision will negatively impact relations between Turkey and the Czech Republic,” Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would follow Muslim “wherever he goes”. Do they plan on action inside the territory of Europe?
Turkey’s Ambassador to Prague, Ahmet Necati Bigali, said the decision was “not befitting our friendship with the Czech Republic. This decision has surely cast a shadow over our relations.”
It’s probably a good idea for Czechs to boycott and avoid Turkey for any type of travel or vacation at this point. Erdogan seems to relish issuing threats and instigates trouble with all in Europe, as if it is part of Turkish territory.
We hope the Czechs do not submit to such bluster, intimidation and nonsense. Do they not remember how Erdogan used a network of criminal smugglers to flood Greece? How he allowed jihadists to use his border as a HUB, with some taking advantage of the lax border to enter Europe as “refugees”? Did they not hear him threatening to violate the EU border by “busing” thousands of migrants to Bulgaria? Do they not recall his support of Islamic terrorists to help destabilize Syria?
*** Neither can the EU rely on Erdogan long term regarding border security. The Merkel-Erdogan Pact regarding migration, as we have pointed out before, is vastly overrated; eventually Europe will have to secure the borders on their own – just like Australia. Various nation states in Central Europe did this with the closing of the Balkan Route, which drastically reduced the migrant flow to Germany and pre-dated the deal with Turkey.
Europe cannot rely on Turkey as a long-term partner. It’s time to heed the call of Sebastian Kurz to end the membership and visa talks.