23rd December, 2023

Day 10 – Hamburg PKK trial continues – “Kenanwatch” now also in German

The trial against Kenan Ayaz has continued at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court. A short rally was held in front of the court building in the morning. Members of the Human Rights Observatory for the trial of Kenan Ayas from Cyprus expressed their solidarity.

The trial against the Kurd Kenan Ayaz (official name: Ayas) continued on Thursday at the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Hamburg. The activist and politician, who was extradited from Cyprus to Germany in June, has been charged with membership of a foreign terrorist organization under sections 129a/b of the German Criminal Code (StGB). He is accused of organizing demonstrations and rallies in Germany on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Police officer Guido S., who is in charge of investigations into the PKK at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), was questioned again at today’s hearing. S. is the highest ranking police officer in charge of PKK proceedings in Germany. Once again, it emerged that the BKA has no new substantive findings in the Ayaz case.
“It seems as if the Federal Public Prosecutor General’s Office (GBA) asked the BKA during the NATO summit which arrest warrants were still possible in order to offer Erdoğan something and they then took the Ayaz case out of the drawer, although they actually have nothing against him,” commented one observer on the proceedings against Ayaz.
The European arrest warrant against Ayaz was only applied for in May 2022, two years after the last relevant findings about him – shortly before the NATO summit, which was to discuss the admission of Sweden and Finland to the military alliance. As is well known, Turkey had made its consent to the accession of these countries dependent on the persecution and extradition of alleged PKK members.
Another topic was so-called “attacks” by the PKK, which are apparently listed in a chronicle by the BKA on behalf of the GBA. According to witness S., this was based solely on information from the website “Hêzên Parastina Gel” – the Kurdish name of the guerrilla organization People’s Defence Forces (HPG). However, “battles on both sides” were not included in the chronicle, only “active actions” by the HPG. The responsible interpreter would then check which events would be included in the chronicle.
Regarding the scenes of the alleged PKK attacks, S. stated that they were “mainly in northern Iraq”. The court would have to decide whether the chronicle should nevertheless be continued. Furthermore, it was not clear to the BKA where the respective areas were located, whether in Turkey or in northern Iraq. Previously, attacks in Iraq had not been included in the chronicle.
Trial to continue on January 10
The trial against Kenan Ayaz will continue on 10 January 2024 at 9:30 a.m. with a further hearing of Turkey expert Dr. Seufert. An event with representatives of the Cypriot parliament and the European Parliament is planned for the same evening. The location is yet to be announced. Meanwhile, the Cyprus Observatory, which is monitoring the Hamburg trial, has announced that the Kenanwatch website is now also available in German: https://kenanwatch.org/de/category/die-gerichtsverfahren