Raqib Zaragoza has been an enemy of the Turkish state for half a century. The 74-year-old was brought before court for the first time since the 1971 military coup – due to his links to Amnesty International.
Sarakol later co-founded the Turkish Human Rights Association and is the publisher of books on the Armenian Genocide and the Kurdish Question.
Today, he is on a list of 40 alleged “terrorists”, stipulating that Finland and Sweden must agree to NATO membership for Turkey’s deportation. The Zaragoza case shows why Turkey has so far failed to convince the West of its demands.
Finnish and Swedish negotiators spoke for the first time about the NATO conflict with Turkish government officials in Ankara on Wednesday. Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency and an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke of the positive response of the two northern European countries to Turkey’s call for the lifting of the arms embargo, which has been in place since 2019.
But Turkey is not satisfied with that. He demands conclusive evidence that they are excluding themselves from Helsinki and Stockholm. The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which operates as a terrorist organization,. They also demand the deportation of anti-Turkish government protesters.
Zaragoza has been living in Sweden for ten years
According to Ankara, 28 people in Sweden and 12 in Finland on the Turkish list are dangerous enemies of the state, which could be attributed to the PKK, left-wing extremist groups or the movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Habertürk news channel that Turkey did not want to hear excuses such as references to EU rules. Turkey’s demands must be met – even if Finland and Sweden have to change their laws to allow deportation.
Zaragoza has been monitoring developments in Sweden, where he has lived for almost ten years. He did not think he would be deported, he told the deported radio station zgürüz-Radyo.
Sweden’s Supreme Court has refused to deport him in 2019. Zaragoza said that unlike in Turkey, the government in Sweden was bound by the decisions of the courts. Ankara probably thinks that the government in Stockholm can act like the Turkish government in its own country: by pressuring the judiciary to implement its will.
Two years ago, a new investigation began
The Zaragoza case illustrates how far European countries and Turkey have come in understanding the law. Human rights activists should not be imprisoned for using or arguing violence in Turkey.
He was convicted of lecturing in the legal Kurdish party. According to the Turkish judiciary, he was convicted of supporting a terrorist organization.
Two years ago, the Turkish State Attorney’s Office launched a new investigation into him: in an article for the left-wing daily Evrensel, Zarakolu was hanged in 1961 after a military coup between Erdogan and former Prime Minister Adnan Mendez. . Prosecutors accused Sarakolu of supporting the violent coup through the article.
In an interview, Zaragoza said there was no legal basis for the extradition – after talks in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan’s adviser Kalin made the exact opposite: there was no legal basis for refusing to extradite “terrorists.”
One of the dead is on the list
Bülent Kenes, former editor-in-chief of a newspaper affiliated with the Gülen movement, is on the Turkish deportation list. He was accused of being involved in the 2016 coup attempt. Another anti-government Kurdish politician and journalist, Mohamed Chirac Bilkin, is on Turkey’s deportation list, but it has been seven years since he died.
List Bargaining on the talk poker could be the chip, and Ankara might give up in exchange for offers. Most important for Turkey was the end of the arms embargo by European countries. Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson has said she does not send weapons or money to terrorist organizations.
The Turkish government accuses Sweden of supporting PKK YPG militants in Syria.
Erdogan’s veto threat prevents Finland and Sweden from seeking NATO protection due to Russian war against Ukraine.
Turkey faces a lack of understanding from its allies. Jurgen Schulz, the German ambassador to Turkey, told a security conference in Istanbul that Russia was the only country to benefit from the controversy. Christoph Hughes, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, said on the occasion that after Turkey joins NATO, it will be able to resolve its problems with Finland and Sweden better than ever.
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