Turkey says no word from France on wanted terror suspects

Turkey’s ambassador to France tells reporters country still has not replied to Turkey’s request to extradite people on terror suspect list

PKK terrorists are seen holding arms in this archive photo

In a recent meeting with members of the French press at Turkey's embassy in Paris, Turkish Ambassador to France Hakki Akil said that despite the Turkish government's cooperation with European countries on terrorism suspects from these countries, it still has not heard from French authorities regarding around 30 suspects it wishes to be returned to Turkey over terrorism links.

He said similar requests from European countries had been met by Turkey, however, mutual cooperation is not at the desired level.

According to Akil, Turkey has cooperated with European countries following claims that ISIS militants are entering Syria through Turkey, and has so far blocked the entry of 16,000 ISIS suspects to Turkey.

Turkeys Ambassador to France, Hakki Akil

“Those caught by Turkish authorities were deported back to home countries but we did not see same support from Europe,” he added.

Akil also spoke on matters related to the Syrian refugee crisis, latest developments in Turkey and the view of French media on Turkey.

Regarding the take of the western press on the outlawed PKK, which unilaterally ended its ceasefire with Turkish government on July 11, Akil criticised journalists for not being able to draw a clear line between Turkey's Kurdish population and the PKK which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, EU and the UK.

“The news in media suggests Turkey is fighting its Kurdish population and calls Kurds a minority. However, the only groups listed as minorities [in Turkey] are Greeks and Armenians. We have 28 ethnic groups [in Turkey]. The Kurdish population is not considered a minority," Akil told the press.

"Turkey is not fighting with its Kurdish population but fighting with a terrorist organisation that attacks its soldiers and police officers.” 

In response to criticism from some journalists claiming that Turkey overlooks refugees fleeing the country, Akil drew attention to the fact that Turkey hosts over two million refugees from Syria and Iraq and has made extraordinary efforts in this regard.

“Turkey has spent 7.6 billion dollars on refugees in last four years and a total of 418 million dollars were provided by international donors. It does not really matter if the number of refugees is more or less than 40,000," said Akil. 

"Turkey’s efforts are clear and the efforts of the European countries do not compare.”

In addition, Akil criticised the idea of establishing a "hotspot" at entry points to countries which would sort the arriving refugees and choose the best qualified ones by saying that he finds such a procedure to be “shameful” in times of need.

TRTWorld and agencies