Greek court re­jects ex­tra­dit­ing an­other ter­ror­ism sus­pect to Turkey

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

IN A PRE­DICTABLE ver­dict yes­ter­day, a Greek court re­jected Turkey’s ex­tra­di­tion re­quest for a mem­ber of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Party-Front (DHKP-C) ter­ror­ist group. Halaz Seçer was among nine sus­pects ar­rested last year in Athens over a ter­ror plot. She and other mem­bers of the ter­ror­ist group were al­legedly plan­ning to as­sas­si­nate vis­it­ing Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan.

Judges ruled that the “life of Seçer would be in dan­ger” if re­turned to Turkey, a mo­tive that pre­vi­ously stopped ex­tra­di­tion re­quests for two other sus­pects. DHKP-C mil­i­tants claim to be po­lit­i­cally per­se­cuted, al­though the group is rec­og­nized as a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by the Euro­pean Union and the United States whose em­bassy in Ankara was at­tacked by a DHKP-C ter­ror­ist in 2013.

Greek courts ear­lier re­jected ex­tra­di­tion re­quests for Şadi Naci Özpo­lat and Mehmet Doğan who were among nine sus­pects.

All sus­pects face charges of pos­ses­sion of ex­plo­sives and guns, mem­ber­ship in a ter­ror­ist group and pos­ses­sion of false doc­u­ments.

Greek me­dia out­lets re­ported that the sus­pects, in­clud­ing one who was granted po­lit­i­cal asy­lum in France, were plan­ning to launch an at­tack on Er­doğan’s mo­tor­cade dur­ing his De­cem­ber visit to Athens. Hasan Biber, the per­pe­tra­tor of the 2013 rocket at­tacks that tar­geted the rul­ing party’s head­quar­ters and Jus­tice Min­istry of­fices in Ankara, was among the cap­tured sus­pects. Biber was re­leased af­ter he was cap­tured for trans­port­ing mu­ni­tions to Turkey from a Greek is­land a few years ago.

Though Greece and Turkey sig­naled the will to im­prove their once hos­tile re­la­tions dur­ing Er­doğan’s visit, sev­eral is­sues such as a dis­pute over ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters over­shadow the ties. Greece’s re­jec­tion of ex­tra­di­tion of eight sol­diers in­volved in 2016’s coup bid en­gi­neered by the Gülenist Ter­ror Group (FETÖ) fur­ther deep­ened the cri­sis. For decades, Greece has served as a safe haven for the DHKP-C and other ter­ror­ist groups ac­tive in Turkey, whose mem­bers were granted po­lit­i­cal asy­lum.

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