Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron Economics'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French government crisis: 'Krankreich' not Frankreich

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank?

Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Liberia's president sacks ministers who left amid Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde put under formal investigation in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: France’s new ministers

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • The ‘war’ at the heart of France’s ruling party

    Read more

  • Burger King to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for $11 billion

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

PKK confirms holding Germans hostage

Latest update : 2008-07-11

The Turkish Kurd rebel group PKK confirmed Thursday that they were holding three German climbers hostage, that they were in good health, and that they would be released if Germany gives up its "hostile policies" against the group.

Kurdish rebels confirmed Thursday they had kidnapped three Germans in eastern Turkey and threatened not to release them unless Berlin ended its crackdown against their group and supporters, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported.
  
The separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said in a statement published  on Firat's Internet site, that the Germans, kidnapped while on a climbing trip on Mount Ararat, were in good health.
  
"The German tourists will not be released unless the German state announces that it has given up its hostile policies against the Kurdish people and the PKK," the statement said.
  
The German government, however, rejected the demands and called for the immediate release of the three mountaineers.
  
"The federal republic does not respond to blackmail," said Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
  
The three hostages, seized late Tuesday, were among a group of 13 German mountaineers climbing Mount Ararat -- believed to be the final resting place of the Biblical Noah's Ark -- in Agri province close to the borders with Iran and Armenia.
  
Turkish paramilitary troops have launched a sweep to try and rescue the hostages and Agri governor Mehmet Cetin told the Anatolia news agency Thursday that Mount Ararat had been declared off-limits until further notice.
  
The PKK warned Turkish authorities to call off the search.
  
"The tourists are in good health, but the Turkish state needs to stop its operation in the field in order to ensure the safety" of the hostages, it said, adding that the rebels had not mistreated the hostages.
  
Germany is home to about 2.4 million Turks, which includes about 600,000 Kurds. Some 11,500 are believed to actively support the separatist movement, according to official figures.
  
Last month, German authorities banned the Danish-based Roj TV from broadcasting in the country because it promoted the PKK. They also ordered the closure of a production house that supplied the channel with programming.
  
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara, the European Union and the United States, has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's Kurdish-populated east and southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.
  
The group, banned in Germany for nearly 15 years, has in the past kidnapped people, among them soldiers, police officers and tourists, but it is not a tactic it frequently employs.

Date created : 2008-07-11

COMMENT(S)