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Turkey seeks extradition of Kurdish businessman detained in Spain

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A Turkish prosecutor is seeking the extradition of a Kurdish businessman after he was detained in Spain on an INTERPOL Red Notice, the Sözcü daily’s news website reported.

The businessman, originally from Turkey, had made shocking allegations about the Turkish government.

Spanish authorities detained Muhammed Yakut in the northern city of Santander on an INTERPOL Red Notice that was issued at Turkey’s request after Yakut made scandalous allegations about the shadowy relations of figures from Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) reportedly tracked down Yakut and coordinated his detention with Spanish authorities.

Following Yakut’s detention, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office drafted an extradition request for him and sent it to the Justice Ministry, which will subsequently request his extradition from Spanish authorities.

Before the May elections, Yakut, who is from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, made revelations on YouTube about AKP figures’ alleged links to shady business deals, black money and mafia-style dealings as well as the murky background to a July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Yakut’s “Delilerin Delisi” (the craziest of the crazy) YouTube channel became inaccessible after a court order was issued in April.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Yakut in May after he released a video making allegations that included claims regarding former finance minister and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak.

The prosecutor issued the arrest warrant for Yakut on charges of “unlawful acquisition and dissemination of personal data” and requested an INTERPOL Red Notice through the Ministry of Justice at the time.

In April journalist Serdar Akinan was detained and released on judicial probation 20 hours after his detention following an interview with Yakut.

Yakut told Akinan that the July 15 coup attempt was staged and that President Erdoğan and members of his government all knew about it in advance.

People challenging the AKP narrative on the failed coup or investigating its background are frequently targeted through judicial action or bans.

The AKP government is notorious for hunting down its opponents abroad through MİT operations and extradition requests.

Although little is known about Yakut, some people likened him at the time to mob boss Sedat Peker, who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates. Peker vowed to expose the government’s dirty laundry two months before the May 14 parliamentary and presidential elections; however, he has been unable to make good on his promise because he has been forbidden from broadcasting exposés on the internet.

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