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Turkey asks Germany to stop harbouring Kurdish rebels

The Local · 24 Sep 2010, 15:27

Published: 24 Sep 2010 15:27 GMT+02:00

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"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 Maizière.

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 rebel campaign.

It also argues that the PKK obtains much of its finances through drug trafficking, people smuggling, extortion and money laundering in Europe.

De Maizière, 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 network.

The PKK was banned in Germany in 1993 in the wake of a spate of attacks against Turkish and German interests in the country.

Story continues below…

Germany is home to a community of some 2.4 million Turkish immigrants, many

of them ethnic Kurds.

The PKK picked up arms against Ankara in 1984 for autonomy in the country's Kurdish-populated east and southeast, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:54 September 24, 2010 by William Thirteen
drat - there goes my favorite falafel maker!
18:36 September 24, 2010 by aelfheld
Wonder if Germany will ask Ankara to stop harbouring Islamist nutbags?

Oh, wait, that's the government in Ankara.

Never mind.
20:10 September 24, 2010 by wxman
Maybe Turkey should consider not oppressing them.
10:16 September 25, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
No maybe about it... Turkey should go away and stay there!
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