Turkish Justice Minister sends angry letter to his Belgian counterpart

The Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül has sent an angry letter to his Belgian counterpart Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat). The letter was sent to protest in the strongest of terms against a ruling by the Court of Cassation that states that the Kurdish Workers Party PKK is not considered as a terrorist organisation. News of the letter appears in Saturday’s edition of the daily ‘De Tijd’. 

“The ruling is unacceptable and is profoundly hurtful to Turkey”, the letter reads. Mr Gül’s letter is a response to a ruling by the Court of Cassation 10 days ago concerning legal action initiated in 2008 against person and entities linked to the Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK. The legal action had been taken under Belgian anti-terrorism legislation. The Turkish Justice Minister says that the ruling is a “heavy blow” for Turkey.

Meanwhile, the office of the Justice Minister in Belgium’s minority caretaker federal government says that it has not yet received Mr Gül’s letter.

"But perhaps the letter is still on its way”.

The letter that has been leaked to the Turkish press reminds the Belgian Justice Minister that the PKK features on a European list of terrorist organisations. Mr Gull adds that the PKK “is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 Turks”.

“The decision is totally against Belgian and international law”.

Just after the Court of Cassation’s ruling the Turkish Foreign Minister issued a press release with a similar tone. An escalation of tension between the two countries has been prevented thanks to intense diplomatic activity and a swift response by the Belgian government in the wake of the ruling in which it stated that "the PKK is a terrorist organisation".