TURKISH INTELLIGENCE : Terrorist KCK stronger in Europe than in Turkey

ZAMAN 8-10-2012 – Turkish intelligence reports indicate that an illegal organization that serves as the urban mastermind of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has a more powerful and influential presence in over 10 European countries than it does across Turkey.

According to a number of reports by the intelligence department of the Turkish police force that have been seen by Today’s Zaman, the activities of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) stretch from lobbying to remove the PKK from international police organization Interpol’s list of terrorist groups to laundering money and collecting extortion from Europe-based Kurds. The reports say it is active primarily in Germany, France and Greece.

To shore up its financial power, the KCK uses a web of some 1,000 corporate members of the International Kurdish Businessmen Union (KAR-SAZ), headquartered in Rotterdam, the Turkish intelligence reports find, naming 279 of those companies as facilitating the group’s illegal operations. The reports say Germany takes the lead in hosting the largest number of them (147), followed by France (49), Switzerland (14), the Netherlands (13) and the UK (12). Others are in Austria, Sweden, Greece, Denmark, Belgium and Romania.

In an ongoing investigation into the KCK, Turkish prosecutors say the group controls the PKK, which has been fighting Turkish security forces since 1984, and other affiliated groups. That investigation, which started in December 2009, has seen hundreds of suspected KCK members, including several mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), detained.

Most recently, counterterrorism units have taken 62 suspects, including key provincial officials and an acting mayor from the BDP, into custody in seven provinces in southern, southeastern and eastern Turkey. The suspects are accused of various crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy the country’s unity and integrity.

Money trafficking in Sweden

According to the police intelligence reports, the Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has detected handsome money transfers from the Swedish Left Party, once known as the Communist Party of Sweden, to bank accounts that belong to people active within the KCK.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has gone public a number of times with remarks accusing several European countries of condoning the activities of illegal groups that orchestrate terrorist attacks in Turkey and threaten its unit. “Certain European countries have long refrained from lending the required support to Turkey in its fight against terrorism. Despite all the suffering and bloody attacks on civilians and security forces, there are still countries that have not ceased to financially support the PKK, turning a blind eye to its activities and propaganda. These countries fail to extradite [PKK] criminals to Turkey and do not fight crime,” he said at a luncheon in late June 2010 at which he hosted foreign delegations.

“Those who tolerate terrorism become an accessory to the bloody face of terrorism,” he said in early November of last year while speaking at a meeting in the German capital of Berlin.