Ankara has asked the German government to extradite 81 Turkish citizens for suspected involvement in the failed military coup of last year, the German Justice Ministry said yesterday.
Responding to a question raised by Germany's Left Party regarding the issue, the Justice Ministry did not reveal the number of extradition requests Ankara has submitted for suspects accused of terrorism-related activities.
"Regardless of the measures implemented by the Turkish side to exert pressure [on Germany], the federal government must not extradite [the suspects]," Left Party lawmaker Alexander Neu said. "Instead, it must exert pressure on itself in order for German hostages to finally be freed from custody," Neu said, referring to German citizens who are imprisoned in Turkey such as Turkish-German national Deniz Yücel and Peter Frank Steudtner, who are accused of being involved in terrorist activities in Turkey. Yücel, a Die Welt news correspondent, was arrested Feb. 27 for links to RedHack, a group of hackers known for having links to terrorism.
On the other hand, Steudtner is accused of planning to incite violent and chaotic mass public protests during the justice march held by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held between June 15 and July 15. Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed Ankara's frustration towards Berlin for not handing over the suspected criminals. "Look, I've given Germany 4,500 files on the PKK, and we have not received feedback regarding any of the 4,500 files," Erdoğan said.
Turkey has accused Germany of harboring thousands of suspects allegedly involved in the failed coup on July 15, 2016 which left more than 200 people dead, including soldiers and civilians. Following the coup attempt, many Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) suspects fled to Germany, where the group remains active among the Turkish community despite Ankara's calls to take measures.