Ankara seeks extradition from Germany of ’top coup fugitive’

Adil Oksuz. (Courtesy: karabukderinhaber)
Updated 22 November 2017
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Ankara seeks extradition from Germany of ’top coup fugitive’

ISTANBUL: Turkey is to ask German authorities to extradite a top suspect in last year’s failed coup who still remains at large, state media said on Tuesday.
A request for Adil Oksuz to be extradited from Germany has been prepared following a demand from an Ankara criminal court, the Anadolu news agency said.
Berlin has never confirmed if Oksuz is in the country, but Turkey in August asked the German government to formally investigate reported sightings of him.
Ankara blames the doomed July 15, 2016, coup attempt to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, and has implemented a ruthless crackdown on his suspected supporters.
Turkey has pressed Washington — so far without success — to extradite Gulen, who denies the allegations, from his Pennsylvania compound to face trial in Turkey.
But the second most wanted suspect is Oksuz, a theology lecturer whom Turkish officials accuse of being the so-called “imam” of the plot by coordinating actions on the ground in Turkey with Gulen.
Oksuz was detained in Turkey after the coup was quashed, but was subsequently released — allegedly because the judge was pro-Gulen — and is now on the run.
The extradition request relates to the mass trial of 486 people, including Oksuz, over events at the Akinci air base outside Ankara, seen as the hub of the failed putsch, on the night of the coup plot.
If the presence of Oksuz in Germany is confirmed, it would add yet another bone of contention in increasingly troubled relations between Ankara and Berlin.


Australia move on Jerusalem slammed

Israeli troops return after blowing up a Palestinian’s house in Ramallah on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 20 min 34 sec ago
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Australia move on Jerusalem slammed

  • PM Morrison says committed to recognizing a future state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital
  • The country became one of just a few to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognize the contested city as Israel’s capital

RAMALLAH, SYDNEY: The Palestinian leadership on Saturday described as “irresponsible” Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying it violated international law.

Canberra earlier recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

“We look forward to moving our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of and after final status of determination,” Morrison said, adding that work on a new site for the embassy was under way.

“All of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations, while East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” he added.

“Furthermore, recognizing our commitment to a two-state solution, the Australian government is also resolved to acknowledge the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem,” he added.

The country became one of just a few to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognize the contested city as Israel’s capital.

Australia said it would open a defense and trade office in the west of the holy city and also committed to recognizing a future state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Most foreign nations avoided moving embassies there to prevent inflaming peace talks on the city’s final status — until Trump unilaterally moved the US Embassy there earlier this year.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement that the Australian decision to open a trade office in the city violated a UN resolution.

“From the beginning, we’ve perceived the Australian government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security,” he said in a statement.

Morrison first floated the shift in foreign policy in October, the move angered Australia’s immediate neighbor Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation. 

The issue has put a halt on years-long negotiations on a bilateral trade deal.

Canberra on Friday told its citizens traveling to Indonesia to “exercise a high degree of caution,” warning of protests in the capital Jakarta and popular holiday hotspots, including Bali.

Morrison pointed to Australia’s military history in the region, and the country’s interest in a “rules-based” order in the Middle East, to support the shift in foreign policy.