Turkey complains only 7 terrorists extradited from Europe in past 5 years

Turkey complains only 7 terrorists extradited from Europe in past 5 years
# 16 February 2013 23:31 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. European countries have extradited only seven terrorism suspects to Turkey in the past five years, a senior Turkish security official said on Saturday, APA reports quoting Todays Zaman.

National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Muammer Türker said while speaking at an international symposium on terrorism in southern Turkish province of Antalya that Turkey expects more support from European countries in its fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), complaining that only seven wanted terrorists were extradited by European countries to Turkey in the past five years.

Speaking at the session titled "Terror: EU and Turkey Perspective" Türker underlined that the balance between security and freedom was highly critical.

"We should not put aside freedom while working on the issue of security," he said.

"The most important issue in the fight against terror has to do with eradicating the atmosphere in which terror feeds itself," he added.

"Turkey has taken important steps in this regard," Türker noted.

Speaking at the same session, EU's Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove claimed that certain individuals do not get extradited since concrete evidence is not presented other than just arguing that s/he was a member of a certain organization working against the government.

Turkey has been party to the European Convention on Extradition since 1959 and the European Convention on Suppression of Terrorism since 1980. In addition to these international agreements, Turkey has also ratified the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, but it has been unable to manage the return of a single suspect from Europe. Most of the inmates repatriated to Turkey are those who themselves would prefer to serve their time in Turkish prisons.

Turkey has fought the terrorist PKK since 1984, when it was set up with the goal of establishing an autonomous Kurdish state in east and southeast Turkey. More than 40,000 soldiers and civilians have been killed in clashes thus far.

The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the international community, including the US and the EU.

Turkey has long criticized the EU for failing to to take the necessary measures to prevent thePKK from operating on their soil.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan last week lamented the fact that cooperation against terrorism in Europe falls short of expectations.

“The EU, which criticizes us in every field, should put its relations with terror under the spotlight,” ErdoÄŸan said during his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.

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