PKK-linked Kurd arrested in Athens


Police arrested a 35-year-old Kurdish man during a routine check in the central Athens neighbourhood of Exarchia.

According to eKathimerini, the individual had been sentenced to two years in prison by French authorities for recruiting members into the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, recognised by the European Union as a terrorist organisation.

At the time of his arrest, the 35-year-old was accompanied by two fellow Kurds and a Belgian woman, all of whom were brought to the local police department.

Ongoing investigations are underway to collect further information.

First designated as a terror organisation by the European Union in 2002, the PKK was ordered to be removed from the EU terror list on 3 April 2008 by the European Court of First Instance because the EU had failed to give a proper justification for listing it in the first place.

However, EU officials dismissed the ruling, stating that the PKK would remain on the list regardless of the legal decision. The EU in 2011 renewed its official listing of the PKK as group or entity subject to "specific [EU] measures to combat terrorism" under its Common Foreign and Security Policy

The PKK has been placed on Turkey's terrorist list, as well as several allied governments and organisations. It is often referred to as a "Separatist terrorist organisation" (Turkish: Bölücü terör örgütü) by the Turkish authorities.

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