A cruise ship passenger from Germany finds himself in a Cayman courtroom on Friday (9 December) accused by the government of Turkey of committing terrorist acts 28 years ago.
Celal Kildag was detained Thursday on a ship as it arrived in George Town on an itinerary that originated in Europe.
Mr. Kildag made his initial court appearance still in his vacation clothing as Magistrate Grace Donalds read him the extradition warrant from the Turkish government which claims he was a member of a Kurdish separatist group, which it labels a terrorist organisation, in 1988 when he is accused of being part of an incident in which two people were shot dead and two schools burned down in eastern Turkey.
Speaking through an interpreter, Mr. Kildag responded, “I didn’t do that,” and he said he has lived in Germany for the past 34 years, four years prior to the alleged crimes in Turkey. The conflict between the Turks and the Kurds has been going on since 1978 with fighters on both sides accused of atrocities throughout the years.
Magistrate Donalds ordered Mr. Kildag to remain in custody until next Wednesday (14 December) to give him time to retain legal counsel and await a specific extradition request from Turkey.