Catherine Colonna calls on Ankara to distinguish the PKK from the Kurdish community

The head of French diplomacy Catherine Colonna invited Ankara to distinguish the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and the European Union, from the Kurdish community, the ministry said. Catherine Colonna spoke on the phone Thursday, December 29 with her Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu, a week after the murder in Paris of three Kurds attributed to a sexagenarian claiming a racist act. Ankara had summoned the French ambassador to Turkey.

According to the press release from the Quai d’Orsay, Catherine Colonna has “recalled that the PKK, registered on the European list of terrorist organizations, should be distinguished from other non-violent Kurdish movements“, also emphasizing”France’s attachment to freedom of the press and freedom of expression“. The minister alsounderlined the odious characterof the December 23 attack.

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“Additional measures” to protect the Kurds

She assured her counterpart “that additional measures had been taken to ensure the security of the places where the Kurdish community gathers” and “the protection of Turkish diplomatic rights throughout the national territory had been enhanced“. No details have been communicated on these measures, announced previously by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin.

During this bilateral meeting, Mevlüt Cavusoglu denounced “black propagandalaunched by circles linked to the PKK and other Turkish Kurdish organizations, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. He also rebelled againstthe appearance of French politicians in front of the photos of terrorists and the rags of the terrorist organization“(the PKK, editor’s note), considering that”such propaganda activities should not be allowed“. Bilateral relations between Paris and Ankara are strained on multiple issues, including Turkey’s role within NATO, Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean and migrants.

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