A Thessaloniki court has rejected an extradition request by Turkey for a 27-year-old Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin convicted of drug-dealing offenses.
In 2015 the man was sentenced to 12.5 years’ imprisonment for selling 3.6 grams of hashish and six ecstasy tablets. In January 2020, during a short prison furlough, he failed to return to prison, fled to Greece, where he sought asylum in Thessaloniki.
He told Greek authorities that his trial and conviction were based on false and fabricated evidence, claiming that he was targeted by the Turkish authorities due to his Kurdish origin and also his political beliefs, as both he and his family are deemed supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
A judicial council ruled that the wanted man “is being persecuted or detained for his racial, religious, political or national views” in Turkey, adding that should his extradition proceed, “both his mental and physical integrity are at stake.” [AMNA]