Germany asks Turkey repatriation of drug trafficking suspect
Eyüp Serbest ISTANBUL / HürriyetThe German Foreign Ministry lodged a formal application in Ankara for the repatriation of Eva Balke, 26, a Romanian-German who was caught while carrying 8.3 kg of cocaine in 2012 and condemned to a 10-year prison sentence.
Balke was arrested in Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport in September 2012 after the officials found 8.3 kilograms of cocaine in her case. She took the case on the plane in Sao Paulo and was heading to the Ivory Coast along with her friend Wennila Kanapthippillai. She told the police that the case in which cocaine was found belonged to Kanapthippillai, who was also stopped by the police at an airport in South Africa before she boarded a plane to the Ivory Coast. Authorities found cocaine in her case, too.
The Bakırköy 12th High Criminal Court sentenced Balke to a 10 years prison sentence for drug trafficking last month. The case was closely followed by the German Consulate General, as Balke was under its protection in Germany, because she had been assaulted in her childhood by her biological parents and was given to foster-parents.
German officials met with Balke in the Bakırköy Women’s prison and learned she preferred staying in prison in Germany. After the case concluded, the German Foreign Ministry became involved with the case and lodged a formal application to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry for Balke’s transfer to prison in Germany.
Germany also paid all expenses of Balke’s trial in Turkey. She will be transferred to a prison in Germany if Turkey agrees to hand her over to German officials.