Authorities announced on Tuesday (February 1st) that they have flown a pro-Kurdish politician wanted in Turkey to Cyprus, where his asylum request should be processed. Mustafa Sarikaya, former deputy leader of Turkey’s Democratic Society Party (DTP), was detained at the Thessaloniki airport in December. He had arrived from Cyprus using fake Bulgarian papers and requested political asylum. A court in Thessaloniki cleared him of charges of entering Greece illegally, accepting that he faced political prosecution in Turkey where he spent a total of 20 years in prison.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court banned the DTP in 2009 over its alleged ties to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Under EU laws, his asylum request must be processed at his point of entry in the bloc, which in this case was Cyprus, Greek authorities said on Tuesday.