News

 

Prague in diplomatic tug-of-war following arrest of former PYD leader Saleh Muslim

 
photo:  (radio.cz)
 

The Czech Republic has found itself in a diplomatic tug-of-war between Turkey and the main Syrian Kurdish political party PYD following the arrest of former PYD leader Saleh Muslim in Prague. Muslim was detained at the weekend on an Interpol warrant at Turkey’s behest. Turkey has requested his extradition, while the PYD has appealed for his release.

 
 

The arrest of the 67-year-old former leader of PYD at a Prague hotel made international headlines over the weekend. Ankara considers the main Syrian Kurdish political party an extension of the outlawed Kurdish PKK and had put many of its members, including Saleh Muslim on its most wanted list of “terrorists”. Turkey lost no time filing an official request for his extradition and the country’s foreign minister wants to discuss the issue with his Czech counterpart. In Turkey Muslim is charged with “breaking the state and country’s unity” and other offences.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurdish political party PYD, the driving Kurdish political force in Northern Syria, has expressed outrage at the detention of a man whom it said had played an active role in fighting IS in Syria. PYD said Muslim was a key figure in the search for a political solution in Syria and appealed for his release, describing his arrest as “immoral”. The PYD has also appealed to Kurds living in Europe to put pressure on Prague by “democratic actions”.

Saleh Muslim was reportedly attending an international conference in Prague and was arrested at Ankara’s request shortly after a Turkish participant took a picture of him. His fate will now be decided by a Czech court, with a final decision made by the justice minister who would have to sign an extradition order.

The whole situation is further complicated by the fact that two Czechs - Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas are currently imprisoned in Turkey where they were sentenced to six years in jail for allegedly supporting the Kurdish militia YPG. This has inevitably raised speculation that the Czech side may want to discuss a possible exchange.

Meanwhile, the case has attracted considerable international attention. German politician Tomas Pfluger, former MEP and member of The Left party has condemned the arrest and called for Germany to request Muslim’s extradition as well. In the debate surrounding the issue Jerusalem Post notes that Chancellor Angela Merkel has in the past criticized Ankara for “misuse” of Interpol arrest warrants, which it made copious use of following the attempted coup in the country in 2016.

 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 26.02.2018
 
 
 

Related articles

 
News
 
 

Merkel calls Sudeten German expulsion...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has drawn condemnation from both the Czech president and prime minister...

 
 
News
 
 

Attention centres on Zeman-Poche...

The saga over the formation of a new government continues, with all eyes now on a planned meeting later...

 
 
News
 
 

Activist and ex-presidential...

Czech doctor and political activist Marek Hilšer first made headlines in 2014, when he and a colleague...

 
 
News
 
 

Czech President, Communist Party...

Prime Minister-designate Andrej Babiš presented his proposed new cabinet line-up to the Czech president...

 
Most favourite

History of Czech fine art

What happened in the realm of fine art at the very beginning of the Czech…

Climate

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in moderate geographical…

The most significant current discoveries

During the last decade, Czech science has made many revolutionary discoveries…

Czech language

The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

 
 

Facebook recent activity