Turkey slams Greece over refusal to extradite leftist militant

Turkey slams Greece over refusal to extradite leftist militant

ANKARA

Turkey has slammed Greece for refusing to extradite a member of the Turkish outlawed leftist group Turkish Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML).

“Despite the Greek judiciary’s ruling to hand over Turgut Kaya to Turkey, the Greek justice minister’s decision not to extradite him once again shows Greek politicians’ attitude toward Turkey,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a statement on Aug. 5.

There is an Interpol red notice against the suspect, the statement added.

Greece, which had in the past harbored [the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party - PKK] Öcalan, today provides shelter to criminals sought by Turkey and ignores court rulings regarding their extradition,” the statement said.

“We expect Greece to respect good neighborly relations and comply with legal norms.”

Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis decided not to proceed with the court order to extradite terror suspect Kaya to Turkey, Greek news agency AMNA reported on Aug. 4.

The Greek minister froze the extradition process ordered by a Greek court earlier this year, the news service said, adding that the Turkish journalist, aged 45, has been on a hunger strike since the start of June, in protest to the court decision.

Kaya was arrested this February while trying to enter Greece.

A Greek court on June 1 ordered the extradition of the suspect to Turkey.

Last week, Ankara also slammed Greece after it transferred a convicted murderer of Turkish diplomats to an open prison.

Dimitris Koufodinas, a member of the far-left group November 17 who was serving multiple life terms for a string of murders, was recently transferred from high security prison to an open agricultural prison in Volos, Greece.

“We strongly condemn the fact that Kufodinas, who had been given the right to furlough three times before, will enjoy this transfer to the open agricultural prison. This has once again strengthened our doubts about the functioning of the judicial system in Greece,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Aug. 3.