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30 May, 2020
 
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Terrorism suspect jailed in the north

Suspected wannabe ISIS member ordered to remain in custody as police investigate terror links

Newsroom

A suspected terrorist arrested in the north earlier this week was ordered to remain in custody on Friday, as Turkish Cypriot authorities continue to investigate possible links with ISIS.

According to Turkish Cypriot media in the north, Omer Ozturk was arrested earlier this week on terrorism-related charges, after he was apprehended in an apartment in Famagusta and remanded in custody initially for three days. A judge ordered him in remanded custody for another four days.

The suspect, described in the media as a wannabe terrorist, was arrested on Tuesday in an apartment where he had been staying. It was not clear how long Ozturk had been staying in Famagusta, while other media suggested he had fled Turkey recently.

Additional reports said police discovered terrorist literature, media, and banking information at the residence, presumably recruitment material related to ISIS, while posters of the PKK terrorist group and photos of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan were also found in the apartment.

Turkey designated ISIS as a terrorist organization back in 2013, with multiple attacks following over the years, including suicide bombings, killing over 300 and injuring hundreds of people.

Police discovered terrorist literature at the residence, while PKK posters and photos Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan were also found

Ankara has been mounting police and military anti-terrorism campaigns within Turkey while also seeking suspects abroad.

Last November, Mehmet Akgul, a man of Kurdish origins was arrested by Turkish Cypriot police when he attempted to cross into the north.

Akgul had reportedly taken part in a demonstration in Limassol the previous month to protest the Turkish military campaign in northern Syria. Turkish Cypriot prosecutors had alleged that Akgul was a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria.

While the United States removed PYD from a terror watch list in 2018, Turkey continues to view Syria-based PYD/YPG as an extension of the PKK militant group, which remained on the list of terrorist organizations.

Last summer, a Greek Cypriot court in the Republic of Cyprus rejected an extradition of another Kurdish man, Cerkez Korkmaz, who was wanted by German authorities on terrorism-related charges.

A Larnaca district judge, following a number of false-starts in a long and protracted extradition hearing, found that Korkmaz’ political beliefs were behind the persecution while his defence pointed to Ankara as being behind the German warrant.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  north  |  Turkish Cypriot  |  terrorism  |  ISIS  |  PKK  |  Ocalan  |  police  |  Famagusta  |  Turkey

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