Kurdish PKK leader’s publication in Greek museum disappoints Ankara

ANKARA, Hurriyet – 2.12.2012 –  Turkey has voiced its disappointment after a publication from senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Murat Karayilan was promoted in Athens on Nov. 28 and displayed at the Greek Defense Ministry’s War Museum.

In a statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Nov. 30, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu personally conveyed his unease over the incident during a telephone conversation with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Avramopoulos, on Nov. 29.

The incident “has formed an extremely unfortunate development in regards to cooperation in the field of fighting terrorism,” the ministry said. “This incident is also worrying as it showed that some circles who are annoyed with the improvement of the Turkish-Greek friendship are still active,” it said, warning that giving the outlawed PKK opportunities to promote “terrorism propaganda” was not in line with international agreements.

During the telephone conversation with Davutoğlu, Avramopoulos denied press reports suggesting that the Greek government tolerated the incident and said action would be taken concerning officials responsible in the Greek Defense Ministry War Museum.  “Our will to further our cooperation with Greece, which has improved in many fields in recent periods, is continuing,” the ministry said, stressing the importance it attached to friendship with Greece as a neighbor and an ally.  “It is believed that relations between our countries can been carried to a much further point if this goodwill continues to be mutually displayed,” it said.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey.  A large Turkey’s Kurdish community, numbering to 25 million, openly sympathise with PKK rebels.

The Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement Nov. 29 condemning the presentation of a book written by Murat Karayılan, a leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), at the venue hosting the Defense Ministry’s War Museum. “Greece condemns all forms of terrorism unequivocally. This is also the position of the European Union as a whole, as a matter of principle and as concerns the PKK organization,” the statement said. An advertisement promo of the book entitled, “The Anatomy of a War,” was placed in the War Museum of the Greek Ministry of Defense following its release in Greek.