Turkey Makes Official Extradition Request of Muslim from Czech Republic

Glen Norman
March 1, 2018

Saleh Muslim, a former co-chair of the main Syrian-Kurdish movement, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), was arrested early on Sunday.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria, seeking to rout the US -backed Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units or YPG, from the enclave of Afrin.

Bozdag said during a live television interview Monday that Turkey's Justice Ministry had sent a "file" formally requesting his extradition.

Salih Muslim, former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), was detained in Prague on February 24 upon Turkey's request and detention order.

In Prague, a spokeswoman for the municipal court said it would rule on Tuesday whether to remand Muslim in custody.

Turkey's policy have detained 845 people for the participation in protests and an Internet campaign against Ankara's operation in Syria's district of Afrin since its start, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday spoke over the phone with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and discussed bilateral relations and the latest developments in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said Turkish troops now held a continuous strip on the edge of Afrin.

The PYD is the political arm of the YPG, which is a Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

He has been indicted over a February 2016 bombing in Ankara that targeted a convoy of shuttles at the military headquarters during the evening rush hour, killing 37 people.

If he is extradited, he would be one of the most senior Kurdish officials to be in Turkish custody since the detention of PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan in 1999.

He has been charged and faces 30 life sentences if found guilty but he has dismissed the accusations against him.

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