Brussels Court of Appeals: PKK activity is not terrorism

Brussels Court of Appeals ruled once again that the PKK’s activity is not terrorism, and the 37 Kurdish politicians cannot be put on trial on that basis.

Brussels Court of Appeals heard the appeal submitted by Belgium’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office against the ruling that the PKK’s armed struggle in Northern Kurdistan is “Turkey’s domestic dispute”.

The court stated once again that the PKK’s activity is not terrorism and ruled that there is no grounds for prosecution regarding the 37 Kurdish politicians including KONGRA-GEL Co-chair Remzi Kartal and KCK Executive Council Member Zubeyir Aydar.

This ruling has concluded the investigation launched by Belgium’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office against PKK administrators in 2006.

The Federal Prosecutor has the right to one last appeal in the Supreme Court.

The same court has identified the PKK as “an international armed organization which is not a state” on September 15, 2017.

The court had pointed to the Turkish state violence, ruling that the PKK was responding to said violence, and that there is no terrorist activity to speak of.

The ruling stipulates that the PKK cannot be tried on terrorism laws in Belgium.

In 2006, an investigation had been launched against 36 Kurdish politicians including Remzi Kartal, Zubeyir Aydar and Adem Uzun in Belgium.

On November 3, 2016, the Investigations Bureau in Brussels ruled that the PKK is not a terrorist organization and rejected the lawsuit.

The Federal Prosecutor appealed this ruling.

Upon appeals by the Turkish and Belgian prosecutors’ offices, the parties had been heard at the court of appeals on May 9, 2017.

The lawsuit to have the PKK removed from the EU’s terrorist organizations list was heard at the European Court of Justice on April 16, 2018.

The CoJ ruled similarly that the PKK’s inclusion in the EU’s list of terrorist organizations was unrightful.