Spain launches “Cappadocia operation” / France, Spain arrest 23 allegedly linked to PKK

BORDEAUX / MADRID 13.2.2013 – Seventeen Kurds have been arrested in southwestern France in an anti-terror probe into extortion rackets used to raise funds for the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), legal sources said Tuesday, while six people were detained in a similar operation in Spain.

The people arrested in the French cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse are suspected of being senior figures within the regional structure of the organisation, the sources said. The arrests came as German federal prosecutors on Tuesday pressed charges against a 46-year-old Turkish man suspected of raising money for the PKK throughout Europe.Six more people linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been arrested in Spain, according to the Spanish Ministry of Interior.

Spanish authorities announced they had organized 11 raids in Madrid, Barcelona and the coastal town of Murcia in the southeastern part of the country on Feb. 12 as part of an ongoing operation called “Cappadocia.” “National police officers have broken up the financing and extorsion system of the Kurdish terrorist organisation PKK in Spain,” the interior ministry announced in a statement. Two weapons and 28,000 euros of cash were confiscated during the raids.