Aydoğmuş Released by Durrës Court

Turkish academician Muhammed Yasir Aydoğmuş, his wife, and two children have been released by the Court of Durrës. Aydoğmuş, an Albanian resident, had been arrested in the port of Durrës for traveling with invalid documents. Turkey had issued an international arrest warrant because of suspected links with the Gülen movement, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization (FETÖ).

Opinion had published a letter yesterday from MEP Monica Macovei in which she calls upon the Albanian government to release Aydoğmuş. In her letter, MEP Macovei recalled that

There is an European Convention on extradition issued by the Council of Europe and signed by Albania as well, which clearly states in Article 3 that it is forbidden to extradite people for political reasons. […]

Albania is a country on the European roadmap, sharing the same values as the European Union and therefore should not allow extradition or sending any person to a country where they may be subject to torture or inhuman treatment. […]

If the argument coming from the Albanian authorities, for this decision, is that the passport of Mr. Yasir Aydogmus was suspended by the Turkish authorities, than this is not a legal basis for extradition.

The Turkish Embassy responded immediately to the release of Aydoğmuş, stating that he is a terrorist and a danger for the national security of Albania. The Turkish government insists on his extradition.

Aydoğmuş has been released and has reportedly left Albania under the protection of the UNHCR.

Although neither the EU nor the US recognize the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, of which Albania is the only European member, does.