The Guardian reported on Sunday that Turkish officials in London for meetings with the Prime Minister and other members of the Government are expected to raise the question of the extradition of a number of Turks wanted in connection with the failed 2016 coup.
A number of wanted persons are now said to be in the UK. This includes members of a group known in Turkey as the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation. This group is said to be associated with the US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who has been in exile for a number of years.
The Turkish authorities have made a number of extradition requests since the coup, many to Germany and the US. In January, a Court in Greece refused to extradite eight Turkish air force officers who flew to Greece in a Turkish military helicopter in July last year.
As with the deposed Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, there are likely to be a number of obstacles for Turkey to overcome before anybody is extradited there.
Current extradition bars for Turkey
Turkey is, of course, not part of the EAW scheme but has been designated as a category 2 territory in this country. As such, anybody wanted by Turkey could be extradited. However, similar bars to extradition apply as in the case of an EAW, and a requested person is also protected by the Human Rights Act and the ECHR, including under;
– Article 3 which guarantees the right to freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
– Article 6 of the ECHR which guarantees the right to a fair trial
– Article 10 which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and
– Article 14 which prohibits discrimination on, amongst other matters, political views.
Any successful extradition request to Turkey would have to be approved by the Home Office before it could take place. Although there are very limited circumstances in which the Home Secretary can intervene (and none which would, on the face of it, apply in a case such as this) it is likely to be a very politicised decision. No doubt Amber Rudd is hoping that for once the Courts do what she would want them to do and spare her the difficulty.
John Howey, Senior Solicitor