ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
The justice minister dismissed claims yesterday that a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was released by a German court because Turkey failed to send an additional dossier demanding her extradition.
Mehmet Ali Şahin said the relevant document was sent to German authorities on time. �I was surprised by the news reports because as far as I know, the file had been sent,� he said.
PKK member Ayfer Kaya is known for being the translator and girlfriend of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Just hours following the justice minister's remarks, the Justice Ministry issued a written statement revealing that officials from the Turkish embassy in Berlin had sent the dossier to German authorities on May 30.
�The additional information that was demanded to be sent by June 1, 2008 as regards the extradition of Ayfer Kaya, was communicated to German authorities by our embassy in Berlin on May 30, 2008,� the statement said.
�I don't know, but we had sent it… We did not send it directly but via the Foreign Ministry,� Şahin said, unable to explain why the German court released Kaya on those grounds.
Speaking with the Turkish Daily News, officials from the German embassy in Ankara confirmed that the German court had requested additional information from the Turkish side on the case, something which the court received in time.
A German diplomat who wished to remain anonymous said the problem stemmed from the fact that the German court found the information �insufficient.�
�The issue is not whether information was transmitted on time or late. Everything was there on time...but the information was not deemed to be sufficient by the court to keep [Kaya] in prison for extradition,� the diplomat said.
The justification of German authorities was not found satisfactory by Turkish officials who said the German court should have informed Turkey beforehand if there were any shortcoming in the additional information sent to Germany.
Turkey experienced similar problems in the past with some other European Union member states concerning the extradition of terrorists.