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 Turkish Kurd man charged with PKK leadership role in Germany

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Turkish Kurd man charged with PKK leadership role in Germany  13.4.2010  

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April 13, 2010

ISTANBUL, Turkey, German prosecutors say they have charged a 43-year-old Turkish Kurd on allegations he was a leader in Germany of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

Federal prosecutors said Monday that Abdullah S. was charged on February 18 with allegedly running the organization's central sector in Germany from June 2003 to June 2004.      
They said the suspect allegedly coordinated organizational, financial, propaganda and personnel matters for the group while operating under the alias Hamza.

No trial date has been set.

Berlin banned the PKK in 1993 after it carried out a campaign of firebombings on Turkish institutions in Germany.

PKK guerrillas have been fighting for self-rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984.

Since 1984 the 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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