Europe

Kurdish MP in Turkey abducted 'by PKK'

  • 12 August 2012
  • From the section Europe
Map

A Turkish opposition member of parliament has been kidnapped by suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The politician, Huseyin Aygun - who is himself a Kurd - was abducted near the eastern city of Tunceli.

There is no word from the PKK, which is fighting for autonomy for Turkey's mainly Kurdish south-east.

It is believed to be the first time that the militant group has kidnapped a member of parliament.

A spokesman for the Republican People's Party said the PKK had abducted Mr Aygun at a roadblock between the town of Ovacik and Tunceli.

The BBC's Bethany Bell in Istanbul says the pro-Kurdish activist and lawyer is a surprising target.

In the past the PKK has focused on attacking soldiers, journalists and other civilians.

A search operation is underway.

The incident comes at a time of rising tension between the PKK and the Turkish army, as Kurds over the border in Northern Syria are beginning to call for more autonomy.

The PKK is classified as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US.

It launched a guerrilla campaign in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in the Kurdish heartland.

It has now dropped its claim to an independent state, but says it is fighting for autonomy and the cultural rights of the Kurdish people.

More on this story