Thursday, 17 September 2020

ForMin optimistic about case of Czechs detained in Turkey

14 December 2016

Ankara, Dec 13 (CTK special correspondent) - Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek is optimistic about the case of two Czechs detained in Turkey on terrorism suspicion, he said after a meeting with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday, adding however that it is not possible to resolve it in a day.

Zaoralek said there is obvious willingness to help and accommodate the Czech Republic on the Turkish side.

Cavusoglu said the authorities are looking into how much serious the Czechs' involvement in terrorist activities was. They allow Czech diplomats to visit the detained couple, he added.

Zaoralek said his impression is good and the family will be able to visit the imprisoned Czechs.

He said he could see the willingness on the Turkish side not to act at variance with the legal order and to ease the situation of the two people, whom the Turkish authorities accuse of the People's Protection Units (YPG) membership.

The embassy tries to help Marketa Vselichova and Miroslav Farkas find a lawyer and it communicates with their parents, Zaoralek said.

He said neither Prague nor Ankara want the issue damaging mutual relations.

However, Cavusoglu told Zaoralek that the suspicions are serious and they require to be thoroughly examined, particularly in connection with the recent attack in Istanbul, responsibility for which was claimed by an organisation linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

According to information by Czech diplomacy, the couple did not want to participate in terrorist activities, but they wanted to build a field hospital on Syria's territory controlled by Kurdish units.

Zaoralek also discussed the case with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim, conversation which, he said filled him with optimism.

"The Turkish side says it is open to our supply of information and arguments that could help find a positive outcome," Zaoralek said, adding that a positive outcome would be the expulsion of the two Czechs from Turkey to the Czech Republic.

Cavusoglu said the examination of links between the Czech couple and terrorist organisations continues.

After his meeting with Cavusoglu, Zaoralek denounced the July attempt at a military coup in Turkey.

He said it is important that the rule of law operate even in a difficult situation and that courts make decision based on evidence.

Zaoralek said the Czechs' case must be resolved so as to avoid the feeling that the Czech citizens got into problems and were tried for crimes which cannot be proved only because there is a certain atmosphere in Turkey.

He said the Turkish authorities must take into account the fact that the Czech Republic does not assist terrorists.

Zaoralek said the recent closure of the office of the YPG Kurdish militia in Prague has contributed to the Czech-Turkish relations.

At the close of his visit, Zaoralek met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Their talks mainly focused on terrorism. Erdogan said it is impossible for someone to be considered a terrorist in some country but not elsewhere.

Europe might start dealing with the problem belatedly, when it is too late, Erdogan warned.

He and Zaoralek also discussed bilateral trade. Zaoralek said Turkey wants its volume to increase.

Erdogan called it an important symbol that the chandeliers in Turkish parliament have been made in the Czech Republic.

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