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Turkey urges Germany to crack down on Kurdish PKK rebels
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Turkey urges Germany to crack down on
Kurdish PKK rebels
September 24, 2010
Turkey's Interior Minister Besir Atalay Friday
called on Germany to crack down on separatist
Kurdish rebels on its territory, handing his German
colleague intelligence on activities Ankara wants
"We discussed... the fight against terrorism... I
gave him a dossier on the information we have,"
Atalay told a joint press conference with his German
counterpart Thomas de Maiziere.
Turkey has long accused European Union countries of
tolerating the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group waging a
26-year campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeast
Turkey that is blacklisted as a terrorist
organization by the 27-nation bloc.
Ankara says the group has an extensive support base
among Kurdish migrants in Europe who run
non-governmental organizations sympathetic to the
Turkey's Interior Minister Besir Atalay
It also argues that the
PKK obtains much of its finances through drug
trafficking, people smuggling, extortion and money
laundering in Europe.
De Maiziere, on a two-day visit to Turkey, said his
ministry would act upon the information handed by
Turkey if need be.
"Our intelligence agencies will compare their own
information with that given to us. We will see if
there is new information and, if necessary, take
action," he said.
He also added that Turkey and Germany had decided to
establish a political committee for the "better
coordination" of efforts in the fight against
terrorism, be it PKK or the extremist al-Qaeda
The PKK was banned in Germany in 1993 in the wake of
a spate of attacks against Turkish and German
interests in the country.
Germany is home to a community of some 2.4 million
Turkish immigrants, many of them ethnic Kurds.
Since 1984 the PKK [Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan] took up arms
for greater rights and autonomy in the
mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey
[Turkey-Kurdistan] which has claimed around 45,000
lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK
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
A large Turkey's Kurdish community estimate to 25
million openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
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
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