PKK to apply for lifting of ban on activities in Germany

The PKK intends to apply to the German Federal Ministry of the Interior for the lifting of its ban on activities in Germany, which has been in place since 1993. The legal fight against the criminalization of the Kurdish movement thus reaches a new level.

The PKK intends to apply for the lifting of its ban on activities in Germany. The Association for Democracy and International Law (MAF-DAD) will announce more details at a press conference in Berlin next week. The invitation to the press conference states:

"On November 26, 1993, the then Federal Minister of the Interior, Manfred Kanther, decreed, as is well known, a ban on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) in Germany. Now the PKK is applying to have this ban lifted. This is because, since 1993, the actual circumstances have changed to such an extent that maintaining the ban can no longer be justified. The PKK no longer commits criminal acts in Germany and thus no longer poses a threat to internal security. The organization's ideas and goals have also changed since then. Finally, Turkey has evolved into a regime that tramples democratic principles underfoot."

At the press conference, Dr. Lukas Theune and Dr. Peer Stolle as attorneys for the applicants, Dilan Akdoğan representing the Kurdish community in Germany criminalized by the PKK ban, and Heike Geisweid as moderator for MAF-DAD will speak about the background of the application and be available for questions.

Mahmut Şakar: The legal struggle is taken to a new level

As MAF-DAD board member Mahmut Şakar told Yeni Özgür Politika on the issue, the PKK ban and the EU's subsequent classification of the Kurdistan Workers' Party as a terrorist organization have been fought on a legal level for a long time. "The Kurdish people do not consider the ban legitimate and reject it. The request to lift the 1993 ban on activities issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior must also be seen in this context. I assume that the legal fight against the ban will thus reach a new level," said lawyer Mahmut Şakar.

According to Şakar, the application will be submitted to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In the event of a refusal, legal action will be taken against the ministry before the administrative court.

The PKK was included on the EU's "terror list" after being banned in Germany in 2002. A case brought by PKK members Murat Karayilan and Duran Kalkan has been pending before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg since 2014. The last hearing took place on March 31, and a verdict is expected within the next seven months.