Alexandra's Feed
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.

Mar 20, 2013

German government drops attempt to ban far-right party

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government decided against trying to outlaw the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), branded by its critics as neo-Nazi, over doubts that judges would back such a move.

The government said it would instead support a separate bid by Germany’s 16 federal states to ask the Constitutional Court to ban the party which the domestic intelligence service has called “racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist”.

Mar 4, 2013

Merkel’s conservatives retreat on gay rights

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Monday ruled out granting same-sex couples the same tax benefits as married people, with the chancellor bowing to pressure from traditionalists six months before a federal election.

The centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) agreed last December to keep the status quo for gay couples, who under current rules do not enjoy the tax benefits of married heterosexuals.

Feb 23, 2013

Merkel backs new EU talks for Turkey but has doubts

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she favored new talks to revive Turkey’s stalled European Union membership bid, following warnings by the Turkish prime minister its half-century wait was “unforgivable”.

Yet Merkel, who favors a “privileged partnership” for Turkey in place of full EU membership, stressed the outcome of Ankara’s talks with Brussels should be open, and she remained skeptical about whether Turkey should join.

Feb 22, 2013

Germany not trying to browbeat Europe – president

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s president reassured Europeans on Friday that they had nothing to fear from Berlin’s dominant role in the continent and said closer integration would lead to a more European Germany rather than a Europe forced into Germany’s image.

Germany’s leading role in setting conditions for bailing out profligate euro zone states has sparked deep anti-German sentiment across southern Europe, with some there drawing parallels to the Nazi period when Germany conquered much of the continent.