Belgian ambassador summonsed by Turkish FM over ruling on PKK

Belgium’s ambassador, Michel Malherbe, was summonsed to Ankara by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday, over the Belgian court ruling blocking the prosecution of 36 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish Foreign Ministry conveyed Turkey’s disapproval of the court’s ruling, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

There was no substantial evidence linking the 36 defendants to the PKK, an armed militant group that has waged an insurgency in southeastern Turkey for decades, or any proof that these individuals had committed any terrorist act, according to the ruling of the Brussels appeals court on Friday.

“It is possible to appeal the decision of the Belgian court of appeals. Turkey will continue its legal fight resolutely,” said FM spokesman Hami Aksoy in a written statement.

The Belgian court’s ruling cited the country’s penal code, asserting that PKK’s activities cannot be considered transnational terrorism since it is only engaged in armed conflict within Turkey’s borders. According to the law of Belgium, a group’s involvement in armed conflict is not sufficient to brand it a terrorist organization.

Malherbe denied the responsibility of the ruling, emphasizing the independence of Belgian judiciary from the executive branch in accordance with the separation of powers principle.

PKK is outlawed by the US, Turkey and the European Union, thus the laws of Belgium contravene the views of these entities.

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