Turkey has asked Moscow to arrest and extradite Mihrac Ural, the leader of the outlawed People’s Liberation Party-Front (THKP-C), which Turkey has deemed responsible for a deadly attack in the southern province of Hatay in 2013. Ural was seen unexpectedly among participants at the Syria congress in Sochi, Russia this week.
“We immediately reacted to this terrorist’s participation there and demanded an explanation from Russia,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on Feb. 1.
“We want this person’s immediate detention and extradition to Turkey,” he said noting that Ural is being sought by an Interpol red notice.
In a phone conversation on Jan. 31, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan voiced “discomfort” to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about Ural’s presence in Sochi, as he was not included on the list of invited delegates given to Turkey, said Çavuşoğlu.
“Actually, the name of this terrorist was not on the list that Russia gave us. If it had been, we would have objected beforehand,” he stated, noting that Ural entered Russia with “fake documents.”
“We were uncomfortable with this,” he added, saying that Putin himself will deal with the issue.
Ural is the leader of a branch of the THKP-C, a pro-Syrian regime militia accused of masterminding a spate of attacks in May 2013 in the town of Reyhanlı in Hatay that left 52 people dead.
Ural, originally a Turkish national, reportedly joined the regime’s ranks following the outbreak of civil war in 2011 in Syria. An opposition group claimed to have killed him back in 2016.