World Bulletin/News Desk
The Kurdish National Congress, a coalition of Kurdish groups across Europe, said on Friday it considered the arrest of one of its members in France as a "head-on attack" against the Kurdish people to satisfy Turkey.
Adem Uzun, deemed by Ankara to be the main leader in Europe of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) armed separatist group, was detained this week pending trial on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist association and trying to acquire weapons.
"With this arrest, France has met the expectations of (Turkish Prime Minister) Erdogan," the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) said in a statement.
"The KNK considers the arrest of Adem Uzun to be a head on attack against the Kurdish people and we hope the French state will reverse this decision."
A French official at the public prosecutor's office said Uzun, who had been under surveillance for several months, was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the purchase of anti-tank missiles for his organisation, including one contract worth 1.2 million euros ($1.56 million).
The official said Uzun and two other men belonged to the PKK and had been detained as part of the investigation. Ankara had not yet asked for his extradition, the official said.
A government source in Ankara said he was wanted by Turkish authorities.
Another arm of the PKK, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), threatened Paris directly on Wednesday.
"The KCK ... calls on the French state to desert its hostile attitude against Kurds. Otherwise, the Kurdistan freedom movement and Kurdish people will exercise their rights to retaliate, and will be obliged to make decisions against the interests of the French state." it said.
Turkish intelligence officials have had contacts with senior PKK figures in Europe in recent years to try to end a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives but talks broke down.
According to Turkish media, Uzun was part of those talks. He was due to attend a conference on Saturday looking at the future of Kurds in Syria to be held at the French parliament with prominent Iraqi, Turkish and Syrian Kurds.
Turkish analysts suspect Assad of allowing a Syrian Kurdish movement believed to be linked to the PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), to take control in parts of northern Syria to stop locals from joining the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Assad has denied allowing the PKK to operate on Syrian soil and the PYD denies any association with the PKK.
Final Istanbul communique calls on world to recognize East Jerusalem as occupied capital of Palestinian state
Nearly 63 percent of 2,000 American participants oppose moving US Embassy to Jerusalem, survey indicates
Tensions continue to mount in occupied territories following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Defeat leaves Republicans with razor thin 51-49 majority in Senate
President Donald Trump has not changed his position on North Korea but does not oppose efforts to initiate talks
'Trump you failed to protect your nation,' Akayed Ullah allegedly wrote on Facebook
Vast areas have been destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated and thousands of firefighters are working around the clock.
Trade dispute ends Boeing’s CAN$19 billion bid to replace aging CF-18s fighters
One third of those detained are minors, Palestinian activists say
ISIL has recently suffered a string of defeats in Iraq and Syria
Turkish deputy premier says some leading Greek Cypriots say they would prefer to 'drink poison' than use Turkish water
'I want to shoot a movie in Jerusalem when it is liberated,' says Nawras Abu Saleh
After meeting in Ottawa with officials from the nation's 10 provinces and three territories, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he has agreed to give the provinces 75 percent of the monies.
Maduro's ruling socialists triumphed as expected in mayoral polls Sunday, taking 300 of the country's 335 mayorships after a boycott by the main opposition parties.
US president revises space agency’s policy, undoing Obama’s concentration on Mars
US-led global coalition will continue to operate and support local forces in Syria, Pentagon spokesman says