Turkey will not extradite Iraq's Vice
President Tareq al-Hashemi: Deputy PM
Turkey refuses to extradite
wanted Iraqi VP Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi
speaks during a press conference on May 4, 2012 in
Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Getty Images.
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May 9, 2012
ANKARA, — Turkey will not extradite
Iraq's Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is being
tried in absentia in Baghdad accused of running a
death squad, a senior official was quoted as saying
"We will not extradite someone whom we have
supported since the very beginning," deputy prime
minister Bekir Bozdag was quoted as saying by the
Anatolia news agency.
His comments came a day after Interpol issued an
international Red Notice for the arrest of Hashemi,
one of Iraq's top Sunni Arab officials, on suspicion
of "guiding and financing terrorist attacks".
"(Hashemi) is currently in Turkey for health
reasons," Bozdag said.
Hashemi, who has been staying in Istanbul since
April 9, insisted in a statement posted on his
website Tuesday that he was not above the law and
was ready to appear in court if his security and a
fair trial could be guaranteed.
Last week, Hashemi's trial was delayed to May 10
after his lawyers called for the case to be heard in
a special court.
Hashemi and his bodyguards face around 150 charges,
including the killing of six judges and other senior
officials, according to an Iraqi judicial spokesman.
He has challenged the legitimacy of the trial and
said his life is at risk in Baghdad.
Interpol said the red notice, its highest possible
following an Iraqi warrant made "as part of an
investigation in which security forces seized
bombing materials and arrested individuals".
"It is of course important that Hashemi is named
among those wanted by Interpol but we also have
demands of the Iraqi government," said Bozdag.
"The terrorist organisation and its supporters are
there... We also want them but so far we have been
unable to get a positive response from the Iraqi
government," he said,www.ekurd.net
referring to leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) holed up in northern Iraq.
Ankara has long demanded that Iraq prevent the PKK
from using its territory, halt all rebel activities,
limit their movements, close down their camps, cut
off logistic support and hand over their leaders to
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been
fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the
constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a
Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who
constitute the greatest minority in Turkey,
numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's
Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees,
lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the
way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within
Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader
Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against
the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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