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Greece’s Supreme Court greenlights the extradition of Ali Yesildag to Turkey

Updated: Feb 29


The man who denounced Erdogan’s corruption system is found exposed without any protection.

In an almost empty room Ali Yesildag is hearing the ruling of the Supreme Court of Greece (Areios Pagos) with the assistance of an interpreter: “his appeal is dismissed; thus, the Court confirms the extradition request back to Turkey”, concludes the president of Areios Pagos.

The reasoning for the abovementioned decision is succinct; in a nutshell, according to the Turkish authorities, Ali Yesildag has not served a 1.665-days prison sentence for crimes allegedly committed 38 years ago, when he was a minor.

Ali, obviously disappointed, says that he respects the court’s decision, and he leaves the room silently.

There is an awkward silence in the room.

There is no mention at all to the political persecution of Ali Yesildag in Turkey.

“It is an absolutely disappointing ruling, putting his life at serious danger” say Thanasis Kampagiannis and Yiannis Patzanakidis, Ali Yesildag’s lawyers.

As Yiannis Patzanakidis mentions, “there is an open persecution file accusing him of membership in a terrorist organization, together with his wife, a friend of his, hosting Ali while he was shooting the YouTube videos against Erdogan, and me. I will not travel to Istanbul because I am afraid of being persecuted; let alone a man who revealed corruption of Erdogan’s system”.

Ali Yesildag shared with the House of Investigative Journalism his serious concerns about his case, just before the announcement of the court ruling.

“I don’t like this silence, neither from Greece nor from Turkey. I am sure that they are in contact, and this will be detrimental to me”.

Erdogan wants to take the lead again in the Municipality of Istanbul at the municipal elections in March, it is a matter of prestige for him, and he wants to silence me no matter what”, he said.

Following the extradition ruling of the Supreme Court of Greece (Areios Pagos), the 54-year-old businessman and Erdogan’s close friend, claiming that he is ready to disclose evidence for the Turkish President’s corruption system, is now facing serious risks, his life being at stake.


Upon issuance of the ruling’s final version, the Greek Minister of Justice, Yorgos Floridis, will deliver his opinion and ultimately ratify the extradition court ruling.

Ali Yesildag’s lawyers are ready to appeal before the Greek Council of State against the ministerial extradition decision.

From his side, Ali declares that he will exercise all the legal remedies to save not only his life but also his family’s integrity, by seeking justice before the European Court of Human Rights.


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