Turkey promises not to mistreat Islamist

Turkey has assured Germany that an Islamist wanted for treason would be treated fairly if Berlin extradited him.

    Kaplan wants to establish an Islamic state in Turkey

    Ankara wants to try Metin Kaplan, the leader of an

    Islamist group banned in Turkey who is based in Cologne, for plotting in 1998 to crash

    an aircraft into the mausoleum of Kamal

    Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish state.

    "We will not allow any maltreatment (of Kaplan)," Turkish Interior Minister Abd Al-kadir Aksu said on Tuesday after talks with his German counterpart, Otto Schily.

    Last month a German court rejected Turkey's extradition case

    because it feared Kaplan, who leads the Kalifatstaat

    group which wants to establish an Islamic state in

    Turkey, would not get a fair trial if he returned home.

    Human rights

    Schily said Germany wanted to extradite Kaplan and that it

    had appealed against the court's decision, but added

    Turkey would have to provide more guarantees

    before an extradition could go ahead.

    But Schily praised Turkey for approving political

    reforms over the past few years, aimed at improving its human

    rights record and winning a date for opening accession talks

    with the European Union (EU).

    "Mr Aksu has expressed the determination of the Turkish

    government concerning the definite ending of torture, especially

    in police stations, and this carries great importance for us," he

    said.

    Kaplan, known as "the Caliph of Cologne", served four years

    in a German jail for calling for the killing of a rival religious

    leader.

    He was freed in May, but must report regularly to police.

    SOURCE: AFP


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