Turkey asks Italy to extradite terrorist PKK leader
Turkey has asked Italy to extradite an alleged terrorist PKK terrorist leader arrested in Venice this week, as it continues seeking stronger European Union support in its fight against the PKK. "Negotiations have been continuing with Italian authorities since late Wednesday," a Turkish diplomatic source said yesterday. "We will take every initiative in line with international law concerning a member of a terrorist group who had been wanted under an Interpol Red Bulletin." Nizamettin Toguc, chairman of the Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe (Kon Kurd), was arrested in Venice along with four other alleged European leaders of the terrorist group through a joint operation between the Italian Secret Intelligence Service and the Podova Gendarmerie. Toguc was allegedly planning to attend a secret meeting thought to have been organized by the PKK. As he was granted political asylum by the Netherlands in 1995 and holds Dutch citizenship, it is possible the Netherlands may request Toguc be repatriated there. "It is not yet clear which country he will be extradited to. The decision rests with Italian authorities," a Turkish diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "But even if he's sent back to the Netherlands, that's not the end of his case. This is a long process." Turkey has recently stepped up its campaign to secure support from EU member states in its fight against the terrorist PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently chided European countries for their indifference to Turkey's terror problem, while Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu lashed out at Germany this week for inaction over groups supporting the PKK.