ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish authorities on Thursday demanded that Swedish officials arrest Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim who is on a temporary visit to the country.
“Muslim is currently in Sweden, and we have asked the Swedish authorities to temporarily arrest him,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by state media.
Germany received a similar request from Ankara on Monday which came days after the release of the former Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-leader from detention in the Czech Republic.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country would review the matter of handing over Muslim after receiving “a verbal note from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.”
“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 this Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu in Berlin on Tuesday.
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 the Kurdish leader’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.