Ankara demands captured MİT administrators, PKK refuses

1 Sept 2017 – ANF – The MİT administrators travelled to the Southern Kurdistan region to attempt abductions and assassinations against Cemil Bayık and several other PKK administrators. They were in communication with local MİT units in the region.

The two Turkish intelligence MİT administrators being captured by PKK guerrillas is still hot on the agenda. It looks like the issue will be even more prominent if the MİT administrators’ statements come to light. In fact, the statements of these MİT administrators will show once more that the Turkish state led by Erdoğan is stuck and harbors animosity against the Kurds.

KCK officials have made some limited statements on the matter. The PUK side is unhappy that the incident happened in their territory. Turkey also aimed to start a conflict among Kurds by carrying out such an attack in PUK territory. We present some information we gathered below in the format of a Q&A:

When and where did the incident happen?

Approximately one month ago, 2 MİT administrators were captured by the PKK by the Dukan Dam near Silemani and the Qandil region.

How were they captured?

The MİT administrators travelled to the region to attempt abductions and assassinations against Cemil Bayık and several other PKK administrators. They were in communication with local MİT units in the region. Who and how they were working with has not been announced for now. KCK General Presidential Council Member Diyar Xerîb said, “We could have put sacks over their heads and paraded them to the press.” It was reported in the press, but reports say the MİT administrators had sacks put over their heads during capture, like a scene out of a movie.

Who are the captured MİT administrators?

Both MİT administrators were the heads of MİT branches active against the PKK in the region. They work directly under Hakan Fidan. This is the only piece of information released about their identity for now.

How did they travel into the region?

They were travelling in Southern Kurdistan with diplomatic passports. They presented their preparations to Hakan Fidan. Fidan said to Erdoğan, “We can carry out abductions or assassinations against PKK administrators, we have this opportunity,” and he got approved. On Erdoğan’s and Fidan’s approval, the MİT administrators in question sprung into action. But they ended up in the spot where they were captured due to a counter-intelligence lead.

Is it just the two people who have been captured?

Reports say the unit that works for these administrators in the South, including some Kurdish elements, have been captured.

Have there been any other operations against the MİT?

A couple of days after the two MİT administrators and their local elements were captured (August 7, 2017), there was an explosion during the passing of a MİT vehicle in the Batufa region near Zakho. The people in the vehicle were reported to be wounded. These people were known to be working with the network captured in Dukan.

What was the traffic between Ankara- Silemani and Qandil after the MİT administrators were captured?

On the night of August 3, when Erdoğan and his team were waiting for the news of abductions or assassinations against the PKK, they received the news that MİT administrators were captured. After that, the MİT officials met with PUK Ankara Representative Bahroz Galali the next day. Galali relayed the issue to the PUK administration. The PUK was not aware of it beforehand. Ankara told them that two diplomats were captured by the PKK and they wanted them released.

PUK officials demanded to meet with the KCK administration to relay Ankara’s demand, and the parties held a meeting near Silemani.

In this meeting, the PKK relayed the facts of the matter to the PUK and stated that the people in questions were not to be released. When the PUK side insisted they be given to them, PKK administrators told them these people were among the ones responsible for the PKK desk, and could be part of the unit that murdered Sakine Cansız. Then there was silence in the meeting, and the PUK members did not say anything. PKK officials said to the PUK in that meeting, “We directly targeted these people in Zakho, the reason we didn’t kill them is because we took into account the sensibilities of the PUK and Silemani.”

PKK’s message was delivered to Ankara the same day.

When the Erdoğan administration understood that the PKK wouldn’t release the MİT administrators, they implemented the method of pressuring the PUK to achieve results. Similarly, they held meetings with KDP officials as well. But the KDP said the incident occurred in PUK territory and passed the responsibility to Silemani.

Erdoğan and his team failed to achieve results in three weeks of intense meetings, and resorted to shutting down the PUK Ankara bureau and deporting representative Bahroz Galali.

Who is Bahroz Galali?

Galali has been the PUK representative in Ankara for the last 17 years. In previous years, he had acted as an intermediator between Ankara-Qandil and Jalal Talabani. He is a diplomat well known by the Turkish state. He is especially well versed in the behind the scenes developments in the talks between the PKK and Turkey that resulted in the 2006 ceasefire. In short, Ankara went directly to Galali with many of the messages they wanted to send to the PKK.

What is the PUK’s policy on the matter?

The PUK is unhappy that the incident occurred in their territory. There is a group within the PUK that wants the PKK to release the people in question. KDP supports this group who favor good relationships with Ankara. Another group within the PUK thinks the issue is between Turkey and the PKK, and that they can only act as intermediaries. The PUK’s base and the people of Silemani are glad the failed MİT operation ended up this way.

Are they the only state officials the PKK has captured?

There are soldiers and police officers who have been captured before. Their families have made appeals through the Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği – İHD), but the state has not taken any initiative. Some other MİT-associated people were captured 2-3 years ago and they are still under arrest. But the Ankara administration specifically wants the two administrators captured in Dukan to be released.

Why is Ankara silent?

Because they know who the captured people are. They are aware that any possible statements can instantly be refuted.

Will the PKK release the MİT administrator?

The PKK administration announced through the PUK that the people in question are absolutely not going to be released.

Will their images and statements be published?