Wednesday 20 June 2018

Kurdish leader arrested at the behest of Turkey

Kurdish people protest against the Turkish military operations in Afrin, in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
Kurdish people protest against the Turkish military operations in Afrin, in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

Dean Grey

The main Syrian Kurdish political party said yesterday that one of its leaders had been arrested in Prague at the behest of Turkey, where a court has charged him with sedition.

Saleh Muslim, a top Kurdish politician, has "full citizenship rights" as a Syrian national and was visiting Europe in an official capacity, the PYD party said. In a statement, the party accused the Turkish state of "demanding the arrest of individuals who are not its citizens... without any legal justifications".

Turkey has been seeking Mr Muslim after a Turkish court charged him with "breaking the state and country's unity" and other offences.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey did not have problems with Kurdish people, but rather "terrorists".

Turkey launched a military offensive last month in Syria's Afrin region against the Kurdish YPG militia, the PYD's armed affiliate, which it deems a menace on its border.

Mr Muslim formerly headed the PYD, the major component of a coalition that governs Kurdish-held autonomous parts of northern Syria.

Irish Independent

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