Turkey to lodge complaint against Austria at UN
( Cihannews ) - Turkey said Wednesday it would soon lodge a complaint against Austria at the United Nations regarding the release of a senior member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who is wanted by Interpol through a red notice.
Riza Altun, who is believed to be in charge of financing for the PKK in Europe, was detained on July 4 while entering Austria but later released on July 13 by a court decision, before allowed to fly to northern Iraqi city of Arbil from Vienna.
"It is unacceptable that Austria release this person, although a warrant of arrest was issued for him," Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Levent Bilman told a press conference on Wednesday. He also noted that Turkish government found explanations of Austrian government over the release of Riza Altun, "unsatisfactory".
Ankara is still awaiting a response from Baghdad on a request to extradite Altun, the spokesman said, adding that Turkey had already lodged complaints against Austria at several international organizations, including Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
High-ranking Turkish officials strongly criticized Austria over the release of the PKK member. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had described Austria's attitude as "a very big mistake" that "erodes the foundations of the international struggle against terrorism."
Blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, the European Union and much of the international community, the PKK has recently increased attacks on Turkish troops, which led to Ankara's mounting intention of an incursion into northern Iraq to crack down the PKK.