Counterterrorism police in Istanbul have detained a suspect on charges of financing the PKK terrorist group's activities in Austria, security officials said yesterday.
The suspect, identified by his initials H.T., was detained at Atatürk International Airport on Oct. 2. He was about to board a flight to Vienna. He was later released on TL 100,000 ($16,200) bail and was slapped with a ban against traveling abroad. Police found nearly 19,000 euros in the suspect's possession, along with propaganda documents for the terrorist group.
Media outlets claimed that H.T. is a businessman with connections to Remzi Kartal, a senior PKK figure.
Kartal, along with Zübeyir Aydar, is a high-ranking leader of the terrorist group's Europe network. He was tried in Belgium on charges of kidnapping children from Kurdish families in European countries and sending them to Greece and Iraq for training and recruiting by the terrorist group. He was also accused of extorting businesspeople on behalf of the PKK.
Although it is recognized as a terrorist group by the European Union, the PKK operates with freedom in most European countries, where its supporters often organize rallies in its support.