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Turkey calls for extradition of Kurds arrested in Europe

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for the extradition of more than 20 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) arrested in multiple police raids in France and Spain.

"As long as these terrorists aren't handed over to us, the steps taken make no sense to us, because what we want is results," the premier said during a press conference in Ankara.

The PKK, which took up arms in its campaign for autonomy in southeast Turkey in 1984, is branded a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies. More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have died in the conflict.

"There is an extradition agreement between us, common agreements to fight the organisation of terrorists. This one has officially been branded a terrorist organisation, which has led to thousands of legal proceedings in this country, but there are no results," he said.

Erdogan's comments come after French judicial sources on Tuesday said 17 Kurds -- thought to be senior figures within the regional structure of PKK -- had been arrested in an anti-terror probe into extortion rackets used to raise funds for the organisation.

On Wednesday, Spanish authorities announced the arrest of six Kurds, suspected on similar charges.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130214/turkey-calls-extradition-kurds-arrested-europe