Germany bans 2 Kurdish publishing houses for backing PKK
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top security official on Tuesday banned two publishers for allegedly belonging to a banned Kurdish organization.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he banned the publishers Mezopotamien Verlag und Vertrieb GmbH and the MIR Multimedia GmbH because they support the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.
Authorities searched the two publishing houses in western and northern Germany on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
"It's necessary to push back the PKK, because they continue to be active in Germany despite being banned," Seehofer said.
He said the two groups used their earnings solely to support the PKK, which was outlawed as a foreign terrorist group in Germany in 1993.
The Kurdish organization NAV-DEM condemned the ban of the publishers. Tahir Kocer, a chairman of the group, accused Germany of trying to suppress Kurdish culture.
"The Turkish state is trying for decades to erase Turkish identity and culture," Kocer said. "With its ban, the German government has now decided to continue these inhuman politics on German ground."
Germany is home to around 14,500 PKK supporters, according to the Interior Ministry.