Turk convicted of Sivas massacre had German passport, report says

A Turkish fugitive captured last month by Polish police had remained on the run partly due to a passport he acquired from Germany, daily Hürriyet reported today.

An image grab shows the fire at Madımak Hotel which killed 37 people. Hürriyet photo

An image grab shows the fire at Madımak Hotel which killed 37 people. Hürriyet photo

Vahit Kaynar, who was convicted of participation in the 1993 Sivas Massacre in which 33 intellectuals and two hotel workers were killed at the Madımak Hotel in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, had been traveling through Europe with a blue passport that had been granted by the German government to political asylum seekers.

Kaynar was not subjected to identity checks while crossing borders in Europe thanks to his German passport, Hürriyet reported.

Kaynar was on his way from Germany to Poland when he was captured.

Kaynar’s lawyers are hoping to prevent his rendition to Turkey, which has requested his extradition, and are pushing for the convicted suspect to be returned to Germany instead. Kaynar was sentenced to death in Turkey and was detained in prison for a year before he escaped to Germany.

Kaynar had been living in Berlin for over a decade and was wanted by Interpol.

The Madımak Hotel in Sivas was torched July 2, 1993, by radical Islamists during an Alevi cultural festival. In addition to the 35 victims of the massacre, two attackers also died during the arson.

Monday, October 10, 2011
BERLIN – Hürriyet