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.
Senate set to vote on eform package on Tuesday 6 pm, before National Assembly takes it up next week
UK capital needs greater powers following Brexit decision, Sadiq Khan says
As UK's Conservative Party prepares for post-Brexit leadership race, British leader David Cameron travels to Brussels
Talks on Chapter 33 which deals with financial and budgetary provisions to begin on Thursday, Turkey's EU ambassador confirms
Detractors say new report does not increase Rousseff’s chances of returning to office
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has raised the prospect of a new EU referendum and has announced that he may be a possible candidate to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.
Hamas has thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support following a reconciliation pact with Israel
Israeli police have temporarily closed Al-Aqsa mosque until Thursday after clashes occurred between IDF soldiers and Muslim worshippers
Kremlin says Turkish leader pledges to repair diplomatic relations after November incident near Turkey-Syria border.
Long-running legal fight se Jacob Zuma ordered to repay money spent on non-security upgrades to private residence
US Secretary of State predicts 'even stronger NATO going forward' following UK's vote to leave EU
Lithuania, concerned about losing a strong defender of Russian sanctions in the EU, has called for a gradual British exit from the EU that preserves ties with London.
German Chancellor emphasizes there will be no informal talks with UK until Britain formally expresses intent to leave EU
Riyad al-Maliki says pleased with Turkey's efforts to ease blockade and deliver aid in Gaza
Pool safety poster portrays white children as 'cool', black children 'not cool'
Moscow has said that the US has harrassed its own diplomats and that any action on their part was only a "response"