Alexandra's Feed
May 2, 2013

Minimum wage row could scupper revival of Merkel’s FDP ally

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Free Democrats, fighting to renew their coalition with Angela Merkel’s conservatives in September’s election, could face damaging new splits when they thrash out a position on a minimum wage at their weekend congress.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats are riding high in the polls yet she needs the Free Democrats (FDP) to consolidate their comeback from the depths of voter distrust if she is to see off the opposition Social Democrats and Greens, who are almost as strong as her center-right bloc.

Apr 18, 2013

Syrian Kurds fear increasing attacks from Assad forces

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bombings of Kurdish areas in Syria suggest that Syrian Kurds, long detached from the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, are increasingly being targeted by his forces after they struck deals with rebels fighting to topple him, a Kurdish leader said.

Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said a recent wave of Syrian army attacks may have been prompted by non-aggression pacts reached between Kurds and some moderate factions in the rebel forces.

Apr 18, 2013

Interview: Syrian Kurds fear increasing attacks from Assad forces

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bombings of Kurdish areas in Syria suggest that Syrian Kurds, long detached from the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, are increasingly being targeted by his forces after they struck deals with rebels fighting to topple him, a Kurdish leader said.

Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said a recent wave of Syrian army attacks may have been prompted by non-aggression pacts reached between Kurds and some moderate factions in the rebel forces.

Apr 16, 2013

Special Report: In Paris Kurd killings, a suspect and a mystery

PARIS/MUNICH (Reuters) – The three Kurdish activists living in Paris were about to embark on a trip when they disappeared, their phones ringing endlessly as colleagues tried to locate them. The next morning, January 10, a friend opened the locked door of their office in the city center and found a scene of horror.

Lying face-up on the floor of a large waiting room in the Kurdish Information Centre was the body of Leyla Saylemez, 25. Blood had trickled from her nose and mouth. A few paces behind her, partly hidden by a coffee table, were the tangled bodies of two comrades: Fidan Dogan, 32, a prominent spokeswoman for Kurdish issues in France, and Sakine Cansiz, 55, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a bloody 30-year struggle for Kurdish autonomy from Turkey.

Apr 15, 2013

Senior Kurd says hard for rebels to disarm before leaving Turkey

BERLIN (Reuters) – A top Kurdish politician said on Monday it would be difficult for Kurdish fighters to disarm before leaving Turkey under a peace process, stressing that the key issue was that they depart peacefully without contact with the Turkish military.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government is seeking a weapons-free pullout by militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as part of a drive to end a three-decades long conflict which has killed more than 40,000 people.

Apr 12, 2013

Neo-Nazi trial forces Germany to confront painful truths

JENA, Germany (Reuters) – Twenty years ago in the drab pre-fab housing blocks outside the east German town of Jena, swaggering youths gave Sieg-Heil salutes and flaunted their far-right views, as the structures of the only state they’d ever known crumbled around them.

Among them were three local teenagers, Beate Zschaepe, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt, whose racist hatred would fuse with a militancy not seen before in the neo-Nazi scene.

Apr 7, 2013

Rights concerns overshadow trade ties on Putin’s European trip

MOSCOW/BERLIN, April 7 (Reuters) – Growing Western concerns
about Vladimir Putin’s record on human rights and democracy
could mean a chilly reception for the Russian president on a
trip to Germany and the Netherlands, Moscow’s biggest trade
partners in Europe.

The nations need Russia for energy and as a market for
exports ranging from Volkswagen Touaregs to tulips, but are
uneasy about the influence its oil and gas give it and about
Putin’s treatment of opponents and activists in his new Kremlin
term.

Apr 4, 2013

Turkish paper eyes legal fight over German neo-Nazi trial access

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Turkish newspaper said on Thursday it would complain to Germany’s highest court over media access to a trial of suspected neo-Nazis blamed for the murder of eight Turks, in a row that has embarrassed the German government.

With one of Germany’s most anticipated trials in years set to start on April 17, a Munich court allocated 50 guaranteed seats to media on a first-come-first-served basis, without including a single Turkish journalist.

Mar 27, 2013

German court stirs anger over media limits at neo-Nazi trial

BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) – German politicians, media and
the country’s Turkish community accused a German court of gross
insensitivity in failing to guarantee Turkish reporters access
to a trial of suspected neo-Nazis blamed for a racist killing
spree.

With the trial for the murder of eight Turks and a Greek due
to start on April 17, the court allocated 50 guaranteed seats to
media on a first-come-first-served basis. Reporters would have
to queue for a further 50-60 places each day, the court said.

Mar 21, 2013

Europe’s Kurds welcome ceasefire call, await Turkish response

BERLIN (Reuters) – Watching thousands of miles away, Kurds in western Europe welcomed jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan’s ceasefire message as a critical step toward ending almost 30 years of conflict in Turkey, but expressed concern over Ankara’s next steps.

With thousands displaced by the violence or having fled on political grounds, many Kurds in Europe have long regarded Ocalan, jailed on a Turkish prison island since 1999, as a symbolic leader.