Turkish Journalist Risks Extradition From Romania

Romanian police detained a Turkish journalist, Kamil Demirkaya, on Wednesday and brought him before the Court of Appeal in Bucharest, where he faces extradition to Turkey on the basis of a warrant issued by Ankara authorities.

The extradition request is related to accusations of terrorism and affiliations with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's arch-enemy, the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

After hearings on Wednesday, it was decided that a verdict will be issued on Thursday, according to Demirkaya's family.

Demirkaya was editor-in-chief of Zaman Bulgaria media outlet between 2003 and 2011. He returned to Turkey but moved to Bucharest with his family in 2016.

He holds only a temporary residence permit in Romania. In November, he filed for the extension of the permit and the documents are being processed by the Romanian authorities.

He has no criminal record and has not committed any crime in Turkey according to documents which can be viewed on the Turkish Ministry of Justice website.

A Turkish journalist based in Bucharest, Necdet Celik, told BIRN that the judges will now decide whether Demirkaya is to be extradited or not.

"I am watching the case closely. In my opinion, the Turkish ambassador, Koray Ertas, has to deliver a 'present' to President Erdogan at the end of his mandate in Bucharest," he said.

Celik added that the Turkish ambassador in Bucharest had fought hard to get various Turkish journalists based in Bucharest extradited to Ankara.

Romanian MEP Cristian Preda has warned that if Romania extradites the Turkish journalist, it will "lose all credibility in Brussels.

"Demirkaye runs the Zaman newspaper's Bucharest office, which criticises the Erdogan regime. Nothing is more honest," Preda wrote on...

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