Germany has no plans to change PKK ban: spokesperson
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Germany has no plans to change its ban on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said the spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry, Maximilian Kall, on Wednesday.
Two lawyers, Dr. Lukas Theune and Dr. Peer Stolle, recently applied to the Ministry of Interior to lift the PKK ban in the country, German media reported.
They argued that the group no longer strives to establish an independent Kurdish state but merely seeks autonomy for Kurds in Turkey.
The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993.
“The categorization of PKK as an extremist and terrorist organization is ongoing. This situation has been approved by German courts and the legal system many times. There is no question of a change in this situation at this point,” Kall said during a press conference of the German government.
Kall said he was aware of the application.
“But as I said, the PKK is classified as an extremist and terrorist organization; Courts have confirmed this many times, and there have been many procedures in Germany. The Federal Ministry of the Interior currently sees no reason to change anything,” he clarified.
Christine Hoffman, the deputy spokesperson of the German government, said “she had nothing to add” to his statements.
In March 2017, the German Interior Ministry issued a notice to all states with the title ‘Update on the PKK ban, which prohibited various Kurdish symbols, including the flags of the Syrian Kurdish YPG (People's Protetion Units), YPJ (Women's Protection Units), and PYD (Democratic Union Party).
As a result, activists using these symbols have faced prosecution. Moreover, PKK members have been prosecuted and jailed in Germany due to the ban.
The PKK is a Kurdish rebel force that has engaged in a decades-long conflict with the Turkish government for Kurdish rights.
Turkey, the European Union, and the United States have designated the PKK as a “terrorist” organization.
Last year, Germany also prevented a delegation from traveling to Erbil over PKK ties.