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 Dutch police arrest suspected Kurdish PKK-rebel leader  

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Dutch police arrest suspected Kurdish PKK-rebel leader  26.2.2010 

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February 26, 2010

AMSTERDAM, — Dutch police have arrested a suspected leader of Turkey's rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) during a border patrol in the south-east of the country, a Justice Ministry official says.

The man, identified as Hasan Adir, was arrested on January 19 when he drove into the Netherlands from Germany with two other people.

The spokesman says Turkey has requested the extradition of Adir, but he has objected and has requested a court hearing, which will be held on March 18 in the southern city of Roermond.

Adir can appeal to his extradition ultimately at the Supreme Court. The Dutch Justice Minister will make a final decision, the spokesman says.

Turkey asked for his arrest because they suspect he was recruiting people for the armed wing of the PKK in Iraq,
www.ekurd.netDutch news agency ANP reported.

Since 1984 PKK took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan) which has claimed around 45,000 lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas, the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

Last August, the government announced plans to expand Kurdish freedoms in a bid to erode popular support for the PKK and end the insurgency.

Although the drive faltered amid a ban on the country's main Kurdish DTP party, street protests and PKK violence, Ankara has vowed to push ahead with the reforms. 
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