Turkish fury as Italian town gives honorary citizenship to PKK leader

Turkey has condemned a honorary citizenship given to the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan by a district municipality in Italy.

“We strongly condemn the honorary citizenship given to Abdullah Ocalan, the terrorist leader, on Oct. 5, 2019, by the Municipal Assembly of Berceto, a town in the province of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“Attempt to legitimize the leader of the PKK, who has brutally murdered more than 40,000 innocent people and is on the list of EU terrorist organizations, is unacceptable,” said the written statement.

The Foreign Ministry summoned Italian ambassador to Turkey and conveyed reaction of Ankara, said the statement.

The blacklisted group’s founder, who has been under detention since 1999, was sheltered in Italy in 1990s. The Turkish government has requested for the extradition of Ocalan from Italy and he had to leave. Then he was captured in Kenya.