Kurdish, German politicians detained in Dusseldorf ahead of trip to Iraq’s KRG

German officials on Saturday detained a group of German and Kurdish politicians at Dusseldorf Airport, as they prepared to board a plane for Erbil, Iraq, Bianet news site reported.

Twenty members of the 27-delegation preparing to head to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)to hold talks were taken into police custody, it said.

German police cited the "negative effect’’ of the visit on Berlin-Ankara relations as the reason for the detentions, Cansu Özdemir, a member of the Left Party in the Hamburg Parliament who was among those detained, told Hawar news agency. 

Özdemir said the group was interrogated in separate rooms after their passports were taken from them. Some members of the group were released and a number of people were given a travel ban, she said.

The KRG on Thursday accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of seeking to bring citizens of European countries to Erbil in a bid to disrupt the region’s stability.

Turkey regularly targets the PKK in Northern Iraq and in April launched the latest in a series of military operations into the region. Dubbed “Operations Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt,’’ the incursions have involved both air strikes and the growing deployment of special forces on the ground.

The PKK is an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self rule for four decades. The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.