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Turkey summons Belgian ambassador over appeals court decision declaring PKK not a terrorist organization

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Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Belgian Ambassador Michel Malherbe for an explanation after the Belgian Court of Appeals declared that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was not a terrorist organization in a ruling rendered on Friday.

“Despite the evidence submitted by the Federal Prosecutor of Belgium on the PKK’s terrorist nature, this decision, as it stands, provides the terrorist organizations with a very dangerous area of exploitation,” the ministry said in a written statement.

“We expect our ally Belgium to act in line with counter-terrorism responsibilities and take necessary steps in the fight against the PKK terrorist organization in an effective manner,” it added.

An investigation was launched in 2006 into 36 PKK leaders, including well-known figures Remzi Kartal and Zübeyir Aydar, living in Europe, later resulting in a trial on terrorism charges.

The higher court said the armed conflict between PKK and the Turkish army for more than four decades was a result of Turkey’s violent oppression of the Kurdish people, according to De Standaard.

Although the Court of Appeals dropped the charges, the federal prosecutor still has a right to appeal to the decision.

The PKK is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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