ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the ruling party in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), confirmed on Thursday that his arrest by Czech authorities was at the request of Turkey.
In an exclusive interview with Kurdistan 24, Salih Muslim, the former co-leader of the PYD, revealed that Turkey attempted to kidnap him, adding his arrest in the Czech Republic was due to calls from Turkish authorities.
“The Czech court is convinced that the Turkish accusations are baseless and that I am only a politician,” Muslim explained. “Therefore, they released me without any conditions.”
Speaking to Kurdistan 24 live from Brussels, Muslim noted that although his case had been finalized, he would attend a court hearing again if Czech authorities requested it.
He added that the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) had tried to illegally and secretly extradite him to Turkey but failed.
“The failure of Turkey’s operation in Afrin pushed Ankara to look for other means to record a victory, including arresting me,” Muslim told Kurdistan 24.
The former PYD co-leader explained that the international community was not silent about the ongoing Turkish military operation in Afrin, stating that there have been calls from European nations as well as a UN Security Council Resolution demanding an end to the incursion.
However, he said that “Turkey neither listens to the calls nor respects international laws.”
Muslim added that he expects “serious reactions” from the international community in the future regarding Ankara’s military operation in Afrin.
“Ankara prevents the implementation of any political solution in Syria and has involved itself in the war, including in Eastern Ghouta, which is against the international [community’s] will,” Muslim said.
On Feb. 25, the former Syrian Kurdish leader was arrested by Czech police in Prague’s Marriot Hotel but was later released two days later.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany