Turkish-Cypriots Accused of Crimes Won’t be Extradited – Even to Turkey

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Authorities on the northern third of Cyprus unlawfully occupied since a 1974 Turkish invasion said residents there accused of crimes in other countries – including Turkey, won’t be extradited to face charges.

Baris Burcu, spokesman for Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, said that will extend in all cases after reports that Turkish authorities are investigating Turkisy-Cypriot academics and journalists, some of whom have European Union passports even though the occupied territory isn’t a member of the bloc.

He also said court rulings against Turkish-Cypriots in absentia won’t be honored and they have impunity from other countries even if they are convicted.

Citing the head of the occupied territory’s high court, Narin Sefik, Burcu said that extradition is “out of the question,” the Cyprus Mail reported.

Turkey’s chief prosecutor has brought suits against Afrika newspaper and two of its journalists, editor Sener Levent and Ali Osman.

Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Cyprus and Turkey had violated the European Convention on Human Rights because they failed to co-operate in the investigation of the triple murder of the Turkish-Cypriot family gunned down in their car on the Nicosia-Larnaca highway in 2005.

Elmas Guzelyurtlu, his wife Zerrin, and their 15-year-old daughter Eylul were kidnapped from their home in Ayios Dometios, and driven to the location where they were later found dead on January 15, 2005.

The accused were criminals from the Turkish-Cypriot underworld but have never been tried and punished for the murder because of the lack of cooperation between Cyprus, Turkey, and the Turkish-Cypriots.