Two members of the Kurdistan National Congress, Mr. Remzi Kartal and Mr. Eyyup Doru are under the judicial control of the Spanish authorities. Mr. Kartal, a member of the Executive Council of KNK, was, at the request of Turkey via Interpol, arrested on the 24th March 2009 in Madrid, where he had gone to participate in the Newroz celebrations, and, following a court decision, was remanded into custody and then released on the 28th March. He is required to remain at a fixed abode in Madrid where he is under continual judicial control.
On the 26th March, another member of the Congress, Mr. Doru, was made subject to the same procedures: arrested and then released on the same day, he is also required to remain in a named residence and under judicial control. He has to report to the police twice a week and he is prohibited from leaving Spain. It is clear, therefore, the Spanish authorities have arbitrarily prevented the two members of our Congress from undertaking their mission, which, we can confirm, was entirely directed towards finding a peaceful solution to the present conflict, and reconciliation through political means, to resolve the Kurdish issues, as are all the missions undertaken by the National Kurdish Congress.
Turkey has abused its mandate in relation to Interpol by using it to criminalise the activities of Kurdish men and women political activists whose mission is peace. From the information we have received, the arrests of Mr Kartal and Mr Doru have nothing at all to do with routine surveillance by police or any other police procedures existing in Spain. It is therefore necessary to identify the reasons for this collaboration between Spain and Turkey: the strong diplomatic ties between the two countries; personal contacts between its officials and friendship between Erdogan and Zapatero demonstrate that the arbitrary arrest of our members is in fact nothing more than a gesture from Spain to Turkey,
Mr Kartal and Mr Doru, both granted refugee status, the former from Belgium, and the latter from France, have, for the last decade, been protected by international UN Conventions. The Interpol dossier, which is not new, refers to the arrest of Mr. Kartal in Germany in 2005, and to the German courts decision that Turkey’s accusations against him were without substance, there was no case to answer, and its order for his immediate release. The fact that another country, also member of the EU, could arrest Mr. Kartal with the same dossier and the same accusation is significant proof of an extremely suspect collaboration as regards the protection of particular and special interests of the two governments.
Neither Mr. Kartal nor Mr. Doru are guilty of any crime., although, in the eyes of Turkey, to want to promote political discussion about the Kurdish issue, to represent the voices of the Kurdish people in international platforms and meetings, and even in the Turkish parliament itself – it is. For Turkey, every Kurdish political activist, every Kurdish politician and indeed all those people who assert their Kurdish identity are viewed as criminals, and guilty of crimes.
In spite of all the steps that we have taken, since the 24th March 2009, to appeal to the Spanish authorities, asking that they close the case which should never have been started, the Spanish Cabinet decided, on Friday, May 8th, to approve the extradition order.
All is now in the hands of the Spanish Ministry of Justice. Spain should respect international UN Conventions. We appeal to European public opinion to support us and to exercise extreme vigilance in examining the decisions which can seal the fate of Mr. Remzi Kartal and Mr. Eyyup Doru.