Turkey applies to France for convicted sociologist Pınar Selek's extradition
ISTANBUL - Cihan News Agency
Pınar Selek is currently pursuing doctoral studies on the Kurdish issue at Strasbourg University. DHA photoTurkey’s Justice Ministry has applied to French authorities to request sociologist Pınar Selek’s extradition to Turkey, Cihan news agency reported Dec. 29.
Selek, a feminist scholar who resides in Strasbourg, was convicted of bombing Istanbul’s famous Spice Bazaar in 1998 and sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment last January, despite being acquitted of the same charge three times in the past.
The verdict, which has stirred great outrage both inside and outside Turkey, was handed down in spite of the chief judge Vedat Yılmazabdurrahmanoğlu’s opposition. The chief judge rejected the verdict on the grounds that there was a lack of proof that the explosion was even caused by a bomb, but he was outvoted by his colleagues on the court board.
Last August, the Justice Ministry issued a red notice for Selek’s capture. The sociologist, who is currently pursuing doctoral studies on the Kurdish issue at Strasbourg University to escape prosecution in Turkey, has repeatedly denied considering claiming asylum in France. She emphasized that she wanted to return in Turkey to fight allegations against her.
The ruling has transformed Selek into a symbol of the struggle for human rights in Turkey. She was also cited as a symbol of the women’s rights struggle during an event on March 8 as part of International Woman’s Day.
Many have suggested the charges against Selek stem from a desire to silence the sociologist for her work on Kurds.