Turkey on Tuesday condemned an honorary citizenship given to Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, by a district municipality in Italy.
“We strongly condemn the conferral of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the PKK terrorist organization, with honorary citizenship on 5th October, 2019 by the Town Council of Berceto, a town in the Parma province located at the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.
“Any act attempting to legitimize the leader of the PKK which violently murdered more than 40 thousand people and listed in the EU Terrorist Organizations List is unacceptable.”
The Foreign Ministry summoned Italian Ambassador to Turkey Massimo Gaiani and conveyed Ankara’s reaction, said the statement.
The terrorist group’s founder, who has been in prison since 1999, took shelter in Italy in the 1990s. The Turkish government requested Öcalan’s extradition from Italy, forcing him to leave. He was subsequently captured in Kenya.
Berceto is the 10th Italian city council to grant honorary citizenship to Öcalan.