PKK says kidnapped tourists well, urges Germany to back Kurds


The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, said the three German tourists it kidnapped last week are well, and urged Germany to end a crackdown on Kurdish groups.

The three men, seized on July 8 while they were climbing Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey, “have no problem with their health,” the PKK said in a statement to the Kurdish Firat news agency yesterday.

To ensure their safe return, Germany should press Turkey to stop military operations against the PKK in southeast Turkey, the group said. Germany’s “anti-Kurdish policies” make it likely that incidents such as the kidnapping will occur again, it said.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in largely Kurdish southeast Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has caused about 40,000 deaths. The group has been banned in Germany since 1993.