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Defiance in Munich court as alleged Turkish militants face charges

Friday, June 17, 2016 - 01:25

Nine men and one woman of Turkish and Kurdish origin go on trial in Munich accused of membership in a ''leftist terrorist organization.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Applause as 10 defendants enter a Munich courtroom. Nine men and one woman of Turkish and Kurdish backgrounds stand accused of organizing propaganda events, raising funds and recruiting people for the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML). The group was founded in 1972 and is listed as among a dozen active militant groups in Turkey. No one on trial is facing terror charges -- the accused have been charged with being members of the party. Their lawyers say the trial is pandering to President Tayyip Erdogan -- whose relationship with Germany is under strain after lawmakers labeled the 1915 mass killings of Armenians an act of genocide. Turkey has said it is discussing countermeasures after the ruling and that it threatens the friendship between them, just as Chancellor Angela Merkel is relying on Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. Supporters were on hand outside the courthouse for a trial expected to to run until October 28.

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Defiance in Munich court as alleged Turkish militants face charges

Friday, June 17, 2016 - 01:25