Following in Germany's footsteps, the EU is taking steps to ban symbols, including flags, of the PKK, which it recognizes as a terrorist group, according to a senior EU official in Turkey whose name was not divulged.
The official underlined the importance of cooperation with Turkey on combating radicalism and catching foreign terrorist fighters, adding that the EU can learn a lot from Turkish expertise on counterterrorism.
Reminding that the PKK was on the EU's terror list, the official said: "This is why PKK's symbols and flags need to be banned. We cannot force member states to enforce such a ban, but can emphasize their need to do so."
Turkey has repeatedly condemned Germany and Belgium for allowing PKK-sympathizers and members to openly brandish flags and placards supporting the terrorist groups in meetings and rallies despite having banned the group.
The official argued that closer cooperation between Turkey and the EU was of utmost importance. "It is time the frequency of bilateral meetings increase. The most important coming meeting is on July 25 when Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, EU Minister Ömer Çelik, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn get-together in Brussels."
EU's Transportation Commissioner Violeta Bulc will arrive in Turkey on July 5, while Hahn will pay a visit to Ankara the next day.
Germany's Interior Ministry passed a ban on the brandishing 33 symbols linked to the PKK, including its flag and the photos of its jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan. While the German police do not break up rallies where such symbols are present, they record those who do so to prosecute later.
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