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 Turkish-Kurdish man charged in Germany of being a member of PKK

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Turkish-Kurdish man charged in Germany of being a member of PKK  31.5.2012  

Photo: Reuters. See Related Links
May 31, 2012

BERLIN, Germany, — German prosecutors on Thursday charged a Turkish-Kurdish man on suspicion of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party and taking part in guerrilla operations in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north.

The federal prosecutors said in a statement they indicted the 46-year-old, named only as Ali Ihsan K., on charges of "belonging to the foreign terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)".

K., who was arrested in October last year and has since been held in custody, is suspected of acting as the top recruitment agent in northern Germany from May 2007 to September 2008.

"He was mainly responsible for collecting donations and contributions for the PKK in his region," the prosecutors said.

"In addition, he was in charge of making sure that enough PKK members from his area of responsibility attended events and demonstrations organized by the group," they added.

They said the suspect travelled to PKK "guerrilla units" in April 2008 where he stayed until September of that year.

The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem, Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

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.

The PKK is considered as '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. 

Germany banned the PKK organization since November 1993.

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