ANF – Strasbourg 24.04.2013 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council (PACE) has changed its description of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) as a “terrorist organization” prefering instead the formula “PKK activists” in its latest report published on April 23.
The motion Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü presented to change the terminology for describing the PKK and its members has been adopted by PACE by a vote of eleven to 150 during the session in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday. PACE ruled that “PKK is not a terrorist organization” and that it would be more agreeable to describe PKK leader as “Mr. Öcalan” rather than “terrorist leader” and PKK members as “PKK activists” rather than “terrorists”.
Josette Durrieu, rapporteur on Turkey for PACE, said that “in consideration of the fact that PACE couldn’t constitute a majority during earlier debates on the description of “terror”, it would not be an objective and neutral attitute to designate PKK as a “terrorist organization”. BDP member Kürkçü, also a member of PACE, said the change of the terminology was a remarkably siginificant development. Kürkçü noted that PACE has adopted seven out of nine motions for amendment the PACE left group has presented. The report has also changed one other description,”Turkish institutions and the Turkish people” decide on the future democratic system and the form of the parliament”, to “Citizens and institutions of Turkey”, upon the approval of the motion presented by Kürkçü.