Schäuble rejects PKK demands in hostage situation

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has rejected the demands of PKK rebels who kidnapped three German climbers in eastern Turkey this week.

“There is no question that we’re not negotiating with the PKK as to whether we’ll follow the German law or not,” Schäuble told German broadcaster MDR on Thursday in answer to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) demands that Germany end its crackdown on the group in the region.

Schäuble also alluded to a PKK station that was forbidden in Germany this June.

He told MDR he had spoken with his Turkish counterparts on Thursday and they remain in close contact. Workers from the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation have been sent to Turkey to support forces there, he said.

Schäuble admitted that the German government had underestimated the travel risks in eastern Turkey, but has now taken steps to warn potential travellers.

PKK rebels seized the climbers, part of a group of 13 mountaineers, as they were ascending the mountain in Agri province on Wednesday.