Armenian parliamentarian Gegham Manukyan shared photos of two guerrillas who had been handed over to Turkey and condemned the Armenian authorities responsible for doing so, reported ANF.
Last weekend, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) published a statement that the Armenian authorities had extradited two PKK fighters, Atilla Çiçek and Hüseyin Yıldırım, from detention in Armenia to Turkey. The Armenian security service and justice ministry have denied the claims.
Manukyan responded to the extradition by blasting the Armenian officials responsible on his social media account.
In the statement quoted by ANF, Manukyan described the guerrillas as “two Kurdish freedom fighters, revolutionaries, who fought for the liberation of their own people, fought against Turkish oppression.”
Manukyan also referred to the historic genocide of Armenians in the late Ottoman Empire, noting that many Armenians had been saved from death by Kurds in southeast Anatolia.
“Many of our citizens were saved thanks to the Kurds during the Armenian Genocide in Dersim,” Manukyan said.
“Now, after they appeared on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, they were abducted and handed over to the genocidal Turkish authorities,” he added, stressing that Turkey had supported Azerbaijan in its recent wars with Armenia.
Manukyan also noted that a court had made moves to release the Kurdish fighters, called the judicial process a “betrayal” and described the government as “the enemy forces invading Armenia”.
The lawmaker added his concerns that the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan may meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Prague on 6 October.
After Manukyan’s post, the Armenian National Security Service published a statement quoted by News.am calling the reports of the extradition fake news aimed at discrediting the service.
The Ministry of Justice of Armenia also published a statement stressing that, while the ministry has the authority to transfer prisoners to their country of citizenship, this was not the case with the guerrillas.
Relations between Turkey and Armenia have been strained for decades and the border between the two countries was sealed in 1993 in the wake of clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Since then, Ankara and Baku took steps to normalise relations in December 2021 by announcing the decision to mutually appoint envoys for new talks to restore ties.