Double cross: Kurdish insurgents return to Turkey reinforced with Syrian war veterans -
The Kurdish Workers Party has revived its operational presence in Turkey despite the promise of reconciliation with the government. Officials said Turkey determined that PKK established cells in cities in the NATO member country.
The officials said PKK, bolstered by thousands of fighters from Iran, Iraq and Syria, was focused on reviving operations in southeastern Turkey near Iraq and Syria.
“Particularly in Hakari and Sirnak, there was storage of weapons and ammunition,” the Turkish Security General Directorate said. “In this region, the [PKK] organization has been working to re-establish liberated areas.”
The report said PKK has been reinforced by thousands of foreign fighters as well as construction of weapons tunnels. The directorate asserted that 11,000 recruits came from Iran, Iraq and several European Union states.
Officials said the PKK was also mobilizing Kurds from several provinces in Turkey. They said nearly 3,500 Kurds joined PKK from Bingol, Diyrbakir, Hakari Istanbul, Sanliurfa and Sirnak since early 2013.
The PKK effort was said to have been led by Duran Kalkan, a member of the umbrella Kurdistan Communities Union, which included PKK. Kalkan was said to have directed training of at least 500 new PKK members from Hakari and Sirnak in such skills as improvised explosive devices and assassinations. The report said the training took place in the Kandil mountains in northern Iraq.
“The weapons of PKK are being buried in places that only high-level leaders of the organization know,” the report, quoted in the Turkish daily Bugun, said. “A lot of weapons and ammunition are being stored in these places.”
In a report on March 26, Bugun said Turkish security forces seized 1,000 firebombs in Hakari during a three-day period. The newspaper said PKK was monitoring and attacking police stations and military outposts.
The report said the new PKK units were also intimidating Turkey’s Village Guards, assigned to secure remote regions. The directorate said PKK was recruiting Village Guards officers under the threat of attacking their families.
“Work is underway for Village Guards to side with PKK,” the report said. “When Village Guards do not accept the PKK’s offer, then their families are threatened by PKK.”