Turkish opp. leader slams Belgian court's PKK ruling

On Nov. 3, Brussels court says an 'armed campaign cannot be considered as terrorist acts'

Turkish opp. leader slams Belgian court's PKK ruling

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu slammed a Belgian court's decision concerning the terrorist organization PKK on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, a Brussels court hearing the case against 36 alleged PKK members refused the prosecutor’s request to send the suspects to a higher criminal court, saying an “armed campaign cannot be considered as terrorist acts”.

"The PKK killed 30,000 people. There were children, innocent women and civilians. 30,000 people were killed. For example, if 10 people had been killed in Belgium rather than 30,000, what kind of decision would you have taken? Don't you have a conscience and justice?" said CHP leader Kilicdaroglu during his party's group meeting in the Turkish parliament.

The PKK fought a three-decade battle against Turkey in which more than 40,000 people died. 

The suspects in Belgium are reportedly accused of kidnapping children from their families in Belgium and other “Western countries”, and sending them for training to Greece and Iraq. They are also accused of forging documents and extorting businessmen.

Among those standing trial are Remzi Kartal and Zubeyir Aydar, said to be senior members of the PKK in Europe. They were among PKK suspects arrested in March 2010 in raids across Belgium.

The Belgian Federal Prosecution Office objected to the court ruling last Friday, urging it to recognize the group's acts as "terrorism".

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year.

The Turkish president this past Sunday said the PKK had so far killed 787 security personnel and 312 civilians as well as injuring over 4,000 security forces and more than 2,000 civilians since July 20, 2015.

Meanwhile the Belgian embassy in Ankara said in a written statement on Tuesday that the PKK was in fact a terrorist organization and "Belgium is cooperating with Turkey in the fight against terror".

Arrests of HDP lawmakers

Separately, the CHP leader commented on the recent arrests of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers in Turkey.

Since last Friday, a total of 10 HDP lawmakers, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, have been remanded in custody for failing to answer public prosecutors’ summons concerning an ongoing counter-terrorism probe.

The CHP had considered the arrests to be “against the constitution” all the while voicing criticism regarding the HDP lawmakers’ failure to answer the summons.

 "The main rule in democracies is 'those who come with elections, go with elections'. But the elected ones can't say 'I am above the law, I do anything I want', they can't say 'I don't answer the public prosecutors' summons', they should have testified and defended themselves", Kilicdaroglu said.

The HDP, on Sunday, announced the suspension of its parliamentary activities following the arrests.

The government has accused the HDP of links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU.

Last Mod: 08 Kasım 2016, 20:11
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