ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday said his country would consider the matter of handing over the former head of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to Turkey.
On Monday, Ankara had requested German authorities to arrest and deport the prominent Kurdish leader Salih Muslim who was recently released from detention in the Czech Republic.
Turkey’s request came after its intelligence services spotted the former Syrian Kurdish leader of the ruling PYD in Berlin over the weekend, according to state-run media.
“We have in fact received a verbal note from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and we will send this request, as always, to the [German] justice ministry and they will examine it on constitutional grounds,” Gabriel said during a news conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Berlin.
Muslim was released from custody in the Czech Republic last week after being detained for three days on a Turkish arrest warrant. He was requested by the court to stay within European Union territory and be available for hearings in his extradition case.
Turkey had previously advertised a $1 million bounty for Muslim’s arrest.
Muslim was the co-leader of the PYD from 2010 until 2017. Since 2017, he has been working as the foreign relations representative for the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) Coalition, which rules Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
Ankara views the PYD, and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as a “terrorist” group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group engaged in a decades-long fight against the government in Turkey.