Bulgaria rejected the extradition request by Turkey for a German citizen of Turkish origin who is suspected to have links with the PKK terrorist organization yesterday.
According to Deutsche Welle, Mehmet Y., 44, was detained in Bulgaria's Varna province where he was vacationing last month upon a demand by Turkey. Previously, in 2005, Mehmet Y. was judged in absence in Turkey for his suspected connection with the PKK and convicted for three years and seven months. However, despite his conviction, a Bulgarian court rejected the extradition request by Turkey and released him. Mehmet Y. cannot leave Bulgaria for seven days, until the period of requesting of appeal ends.
Mehmet Y. has been living in Germany since 2001. His asylum request to the country was accepted in 2002. In 2009, he became a German citizen. Yet, he kept his Turkish citizenship, and has dual citizenship.
According to a 2017 report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), there are 14,500 PKK sympathizers in Germany, an increase of 500 since 2016. "The PKK continues to be the largest terrorist group in Germany in terms of a number of members and power," the report suggests.
Formed in 1978, the PKK terrorist group has fought a long separatist battle against the Turkish state. Its terror campaign has killed more than 40,000 people, including women and children. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.