Kurdish PKK rebels release British tourist
kidnapped in Turkey
June 4, 2012
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrillas' security
checkpoint near a PKK base. 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
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DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey,
— A British tourist who was kidnapped by Kurdish PKK
rebels in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey
at the weekend was freed on Monday, officials in
London and Turkey said.
The 35-year-old man was described as being in good
health and is to be taken to the main southeastern
Kurdish city of Diyarbakir for brief questioning
about his ordeal, a Turkish official said on
condition of anonymity.
The Briton was snatched on Saturday by members of
the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who had
stopped the bus he was travelling in between the
Black Sea city of Trabzon and Diyarbakir.
In London, a spokesman for the Foreign Office
confirmed his release, but declined to disclose his
"He has since been in touch with his family in the
UK. Embassy officials are speaking to him and are
offering consular assistance," the spokesman told
"The British ambassador in Ankara, David Reddaway,
would like to express his gratitude to the Turkish
authorities in securing his release."
No details were immediately available about the
circumstances of the release.
Saturday's abduction came amid an upsurge in
activity by the rebel group, which last month
kidnapped 10 people from a village in the
[northern Kurdistan]. The motive was unknown.
In a separate incident on Monday, two Turkish
killed in the
Diyarbakir region when a landmine laid by rebels
exploded, a local security source said.
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
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
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
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 as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara and 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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