Turkish gov’t asks Sweden to extradite former PYD leader Muslim

The Turkish government asked Sweden on Thursday to arrest Salih Muslim, the former Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader, calling for his extradition from Stockholm, private broadcaster CNN Türk quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as saying, its third such request to a foreign country in just over a week.

Turkey previously asked both the Czech Republic and Germany to extradite Muslim, who formerly headed the PYD. Muslim was detained in Prague last week at Turkey’s request.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country would review the matter of handing over Muslim after receiving “a verbal note from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.”

“We will send this request, as always, to the German justice ministry, and they will examine it on constitutional grounds,” Gabriel said during a news conference with Çavuşoğlu in Berlin on Tuesday.

Muslim was released from custody in the Czech Republic last week after being detained for three days on an Interpol Red Notice requested by Turkey. He was told by the court to stay within European Union territory and be available for hearings in his extradition case. The  Turkish government had previously advertised a $1 million bounty for Muslim’s arrest.

Muslim was the co-leader of the PYD from 2010 till 2017. Since 2017, he has been working as the foreign relations representative for the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), a coalition that governs the Kurdish region of Syria.

The Turkish government views the PYD, and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as a “terrorist” group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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