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13:29, 27 June 2017 Tuesday
20:36, 20 March 2017 Monday

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EU reacts to PKK rallies in Frankfurt
EU reacts to PKK rallies in Frankfurt

Around 9,000 people marched in German city Frankfurt with PKK posters and flags on Saturday

World Bulletin / News Desk

European Commission spokeswoman said Monday that the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the EU and its member states.

Speaking at a daily news conference in Brussels, Maja Kocijancic was asked to clartify the EU position over Germany's permission to PKK protests this past weekend

"I would like to very clearly say that PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and by 28 member states," she said.

Her remarks came after German officials allowed Saturday a number of terrorist PKK followers to march in the city of Frankfurt, in marked contrast to their recently blocking Turkish ministers and politicians from addressing expatriates in the country ahead of a referendum on constitutional changes.

Around 9,000 people marched in the central German city of Frankfurt with PKK posters and flags, openly defying the federal government's prohibition of terrorist symbols in public places, including PKK symbols.

After the PKK march, Germany’s ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the incident was strongly condemned, according to presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin. 

On Monday in Berlin, the german government's deputy spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said the authorities of the state of Hesse were responsible for security affairs in the region, and not federal authorities. 

Although Turkey, the EU, and the U.S. consider the PKK a terrorist group, it has been openly holding demonstrations for years across Europe -- mainly in Germany and France.


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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.