Turkey Applauds U.S. Naming PKK Leaders on
Drug Traffickers List
ANKARA, — Turkey applauded a decision
by U.S. authorities to freeze the assets of five
members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the
Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control designated
Cemil Bayrak, Duran Kalkan, Remzi Kartal, Sabri Ok
and Adem Uzun “specially designated narcotics
traffickers,” leading to a freeze of their assets in
the U.S. and making it illegal for Americans to
engage in business with them, the statement said.
The five men are members of the leadership team of
the PKK, the Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey expects other countries to follow suit and
“carry through on their obligations” with regard to
the fight against terrorism,www.ekurd.netthe
statement said. The men are still allowed residence
and free travel in other countries, it said, without
naming the countries.
Since it was established in 1984, the Kurdistan
Workers' Party 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.
Since it was established in 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party 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.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous 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
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
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.
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