Belgium has favored the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), something that has not gone well with Turkey. According to Belgium PKK is not a terror group and therefore people associated with it cannot be persecuted by anti-terror laws.
PKK is said to have waged an insurgency against Turkey for decades killing more than 40,000 people inviting Turkish wrath. Belgium’s top court is said to have reversed a lower court order blocking the persecution of 36 such individuals suspected to be linked to the PKK and asserted that the group’s armed struggle was “Turkey’s own domestic dispute.”
However, according to the Belgian foreign minister, Philippe Goffin, PKK will continue to be listed as a terror group as it is with Turkey, the EU, and the US. Even the Council of Europe has the group on its terror list.
Belgium’s Foreign Minister Philippe Goffin said the government’s position was clear and that the PKK was a terrorist organization. Strangely, the judicial system has favored the individuals over the stand the government has kept.
This ruling has indeed upset Turkey. The Turkish FM has condemned the move taking to twitter and calling it’ hypocritical’ and ‘political’ in nature.
The Belgian ambassador to Turkey Michel Malherbe also took to social media and stated that the legal ruling was unconnected to the government’s position. However, a spokesperson to the Kurdish community does not feel this is going to make their lives easy. Instead, it will set wrong precedent and invite further wrath from the Turkish government.
Political analysts believe that this decision might sour the relations between Ankara and Belgium, the former pulling its support over counter-terrorism, something both has been working to curtail. Ankara had also helped Belgium in identifying foreign fighters of Belgian origins.
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