ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)–A Kurdish politician whose party was dissolved by Turkey’s Constitutional Court last year has requested asylum in Greece after his arrest at Thessaloniki Airport, local police said Wednesday.
Mustafa Sarikaya, 46, was detained last week after airport police found a fake passport among his belongings and charged him with illegal entry, Agence France-Presse reported.
But the former deputy chairman of the now-defunct pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) was released after persuading a court that his life was in danger in Turkey, where he has spent a total of 20 years in prison.
Sarikaya was traveling from Paphos in Greek Cyprus to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, the AFP report said.
The Constitutional Court, Turkey’s top court, ruled in December 2009 that the DTP should be shut down because of alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.