Kurdish Embassy Attacks: German call for ban on guerrillas: Bonn passes buck to regions as new Turkish PM hints at fresh initiatives on the ethnic problem
Saturday 26 June 1993
Bonn rejected complaints by Turkey that warnings of possible attacks had not been taken seriously enough. The Bavarian Interior Minister, Gunther Beckstein, said that the 'general indications' of Kurdish attacks meant that security at the consulate in Munich was on the highest alert.
The Kurdish extremists who held 20 hostages inside the consulate had apparently gained access by queuing outside. The siege ended peacefully after 13 hours when Bernd Schmidbauer, a senior aide to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, became involved in negotiations. The hostage-takers had demanded to see his identity card and appeared impressed by the fact that a senior official from the Chancellor's office had come to talk to them.
One of their initial demands was that Mr Kohl should go on television to condemn Turkish policies towards the Kurds. The PKK may feel that the widespread publicity given to the Kurdish dispute with Turkey as a result of Thursday's actions has been worthwhile.
The government spokesman, Dieter Vogel, emphasised that the Turkish ambassador had officially thanked the German government for its handling of the siege. On Thursday, the ambassador had publicly expressed his anger at Bonn's failure to take warnings seriously. Bonn appeared to pass the blame down the line by saying that warnings had been given to the regional governments, which - it was implied - had failed to react with sufficient speed and efficiency. There were a dozen attacks, of varying seriousness, across Germany.
Mr Beckstein, of the CSU - the Bavarian sister-party of Mr Kohl's Christian Democrats - said that it was 'essential' that the PKK should be banned 'without delay'. There were similar calls from senior members of the Social Democrats.
There was insistence, too, that - in the words of the Bavarian Prime Minister, Edmund Stoiber - foreign disputes 'cannot be settled on our soil'. There have been threats of deportations against those committing violence in Germany.
Thursday's events are especially unwelcome for Bonn. The government is keen to improve relations with Ankara following the Solingen murders last month when five Turkish women and girls were burnt to death in an arson attack. At that time, Turkey made plain its displeasure that Bonn was not taking the problem of anti-Turkish violence seriously enough. Thursday's attacks by the PKK allow Mr Kohl to emphasise - as he already had done in his speech shortly after Solingen - that the violence against Turks is not just by Germans but is also inter-ethnic.
Germany wants to raise the question of Kurdish violence at a meeting of European interior and justice ministers in Copenhagen next week.
A diplomatic row between Turkey and Switzerland intensified yesterday after Swiss officials asked to search the Turkish embassy in Bern to find the weapons used to kill a Kurdish demonstrator on Thursday. Yesterday some 400 Kurds marched through Bern to protest against the shooting of the 29-year-old demonstrator, Semsettin Kurt, as Kurds tried to storm the embassy building on Thursday. Eight others were wounded in the gunfire.
Turkey's ambassador to Switzerland, Kaya Toperi, said on Thursday that Bern embassy staff fired into the air to deter the protesters. In Ankara, a Foreign Ministry official said Turkey had sent a team of inquiry to Bern yesterday.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...