4th September, 2023

Kenan Ayas case: how is such humiliation based? by Alekos Michaelides, huffpost.gr

After serving 13 years of imprisonment in Turkey, first in 1993 at the age of 17 and then in 2009, Kenan Agias fled to Cyprus. He trusted her, like so many other Kurds whose lives are in danger in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. She thought that the Cypriot people are a brotherly people, she knows what Turkish genocidal policies and survival under Turkish rule means. He thought of our common fighter, Theofilos Georgiades and the Solidarity Committee, who fought so many battles for the persecuted Kurds in the 1980s and 1990s. And in 2011, the Republic of Cyprus granted him political asylum, recognising that his physical integrity, freedom and dignity are at risk if he ends up in the hands of the Turkish regime again.

All this was erased in a matter of minutes on Wednesday 19 April, a black day for Cypriot justice, democracy, statehood and our society. The President of the Larnaca District Court, Michalis Papathanasiou, absorbing the arbitrary nature of the German documents and the vain obsession of the Legal Service, consented to the extradition of the Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayas to Germany. He did not think about where he was, did not read two and three times the excellent summation of Ayias’ lawyer, our brother Efstathios Efstathiou, and murdered the trust of Cypriots and Kurds without a word. Why?

Perhaps he thought that he was serving a Cyprus-German transnational relationship or that this man was dangerous for Europeans or Turkish citizens. Perhaps he saw the case as a simple case, in which he is supposedly setting the terms.

The decision to extradite Kenan Ayas is not tenable. Just as the humiliation of 24 years for the surrender of Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey is intolerable, even if the figures are different. The dream is heavy and the situation is unacceptable.

How can it be that the District Judge and the Legal Service have not recognised that the situation in Turkey is not a case of terrorism? How can it be that a man whose crime was a few speeches about the right of the Kurdish people was convicted? How could they have digested and expressed the vulgar excuse of membership of the PKK, which does not exist, act or terrorise Europe?

The dream is heavy but the struggle continues. After all, according to the Kurdish paradigm, friends are only the mountains. Vasta, Kenan Ayas. We will win.