Turkey bans Mount Ararat climbing after PKK kidnappings

Turkish authorities closed Mount Ararat to climbers on Thursday following the kidnapping of three German mountaineers by PKK militants on Tuesday night.

Turkey bans Mount Ararat climbing after PKK kidnappings
"We have closed Mount Ararat to climbers until further notice because of the operation (to rescue the mountaineers)," Agri Governor Metin Cetin told the Anadolu news agency on Thursday.

Lars Holger Renne, 33, Martin Georg, 47, and Helmut Johann, 65, all from Bavaria, were taken hostage late Tuesday night when a group of five PKK militants raided a camp at 3,200 metres forcibly waking a group of 13 German climbers.

PKK militants said they would not release three German tourists kidnapped in eastern Turkey until Germany halted its policies against the militant group, a news agency close to the militants said on Thursday.

Firat news agency reported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants as saying the three Germans, who were part of a climbing expedition in Agri province, were in good health.

Spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday there had been a close cooperation between Turkey and Germany in regard to the three German mountaineers who were kidnapped in the east of Turkey.

Ealier, German Interior Ministry banned the activities of Roj TV, which is the broadcast organ of PKK, in the country.

The ministry stated on Tuesday that the activities of Roj TV as well as "Mesopotamia Broadcast" institution were banned on June 19th.

It also stated that Roj TV encouraged PKK for violence, and helped PKK to find members to stage attacks in Turkey.

Last Mod: 11 Temmuz 2008, 17:32
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