TURKEY

Turkey summons German ambassador over pro-PKK rally

TURKEY SUMMONS GERMAN AMBASSADOR OVER PRO-PKK RALLY

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has summoned the German Ambassador, Martin Erdmann, Saturday after a mass gathering of supporters and sympathizers of the outlawed PKK terrorist organization in Cologne.

Turkish foreign ministry on Saturday summoned German ambassador in Ankara over a pro-PKK event held in the city of Cologne.

According to a statement from the ministry, Martin Erdmann was called over Saturday's event during which about 3,000 pro-PKK demonstrators gathered at Deutzer Werft Square as part of a so-called international Kurdish festival.

"We condemn that PKK terror organization's extensions in Germany are allowed to hold an event ... in Cologne and make terror propaganda here," said the statement.

"Our reaction has been strongly expressed to the Germany's Ambassador," read the statement.

The statement also criticized the German authorities' inaction about the messages that were read out during the demonstration, which praised the organization and its leaders.

Even though the Interior Ministry updated its list of prohibited PKK symbols in March, the demonstrators carried banned posters of jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan and the symbols of the organization.

"This double-standard attitude by Germany in the fight against terrorism is worrying in the name of global struggle with terrorism," said the statement.

The ministry urged Germany to adopt a "principled stand against all kinds of terrorism."

The terrorist PKK organization is active in the country, and carries out significant propaganda, recruitment, and fund-raising activities.

The group has nearly 14,000 followers among Germany's Kurdish immigrant population, according to the German domestic intelligence agency BfV.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization also by the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign in July 2015.

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.

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