Kurdish-Swedish Man Arrested In Bulgaria on Turkey’s Request


According to Swedish media, a Kurdish man from Sweden, Halef Tak has been arrested in Bulgaria.

The police told us that Interpol in Ankara has requested his extradition on the grounds of political crime, said his son, Delil Tak.

On Monday the 51-year-old Halef landed in Bulgaria with his wife and three children to spend their summer vacation there; they were instead met by armed military police who arrested Halef.

According to the family, Halef Tak was politically active in the Kurdish struggle in Turkey in the late 1980’s but because of persecution, he and his family had to flee to Sweden in 1989. Halef’s nephew, 22-year-old Mazlum Tak, said to the Swedish paper:

My uncle has not been able to travel to Turkey for 25 years for political reasons. They have told him several times that if he gets caught, he risks 20 years in jail or life imprisonment.

He was at first not allowed to speak with his family and the family couldn’t give him his medicine for his heart. Yesterday he was allowed to meet with a Swedish official in Bulgaria and he has also been appointed a Bulgarian lawyer.

The family has not been informed on what is going to happen now and is especially disappointed about the lack of help from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We have not been told anything, neither from the police down here or from Sweden. We are shocked that we did not get any help, said Delil Tak.

According to a spokeswoman, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is following the case but does not know if he will be handed over to Turkey.