Germany arrests alleged local Kurdish PKK leader

September 3, 2014 - 5:05 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors say they've arrested a 45-year-old Turkish man on suspicion he was a regional leader of the banned Kurdish separatist group PKK.

The federal prosecutors' office said Wednesday that Mehmet D., whose last name wasn't released in accordance with German privacy laws, was arrested Aug. 29 on charges of membership in a foreign terrorist organization. He's accused of leading the PKK's operations in central Germany since January 2013 under the pseudonym Kahraman, and its northern German operations since later that year.

Prosecutors say his responsibilities included coordinating fundraising, business activities and propaganda.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the PKK started its fight in 1984 for Kurdish autonomy in southeast Turkey.