Croatia releases German Kurd wanted by Turkey

German Kurd Murat Catulay, 52, returned to Cologne from Split by plane on Tuesday night after being arrested near Omis on the Croatian coast 28 days ago on Turkey's accusation that he was a terrorist.

Later today, his Croatian attorneys will file a motion that his case be dropped.

When he was arrested, Catulay was on holiday in Omis with his family. Croatian police arrested him on an Interpol warrant after it was discovered via e-visitor that he was vacationing in Croatia. Since Turkey did not request his extradition within the legal deadline, a Split County Court judge signed his release on Tuesday.

Catulay is now a free man, one of the attorneys, Edvard Susac, told Hina on Wednesday, adding that "even if an extradition decision was made, Croatia objectively could not extradite Murat because he is not on its territory."

Catulay has been living in Germany for 25 years. He was granted German citizenship because of political asylum.  He lives in Cologne with a wife and two sons aged 11 and 13. His family booked him a direct flight to Cologne, from Split via Zagreb, for fear that he might be arrested in Slovenia or Austria on the international warrant issued for him.

Five years ago, Turkey accused him of terrorism and participating in terrorist operations of TIKKO, the armed wing of the Communist Party of Turkey. When he was brought before a Split judge, he objected to being extradited to Turkey.

In depth coverage

Suspected terrorist for several attacks across Turkey arrested while vacationing in Croatia

A 52-year old tourist from Germany of Kurdish origin, wanted by Interpol on suspicion of terrorism, was arrested in Kostanje, near the southern Croatian town of Omis, on Wednesday.

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Last update: Fri, 29/07/2016 - 00:53
Last update: Wed, 24/08/2016 - 11:41
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