A bomb ready to explode was found Thursday in the mailbox of the headquarters of the Swiss Turkish Society (ITT), which serves as the umbrella group of Turkish nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Rumlang region of Switzerland.
ITT Chairperson Şeref Yıldız, who has been exposed to attacks by PKK supporters many times and had to leave the house where he lived for years because of the terrorist threat, spoke to the Anadolu Agency (AA) regarding the incident.
"They put a bomb in the ITT mailbox between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. yesterday. I noticed the situation because the lid of the box was open. I immediately called the police,” he said.
Yıldız said that the police told him that the bomb was real.
"The police took the incident very seriously. Immediately, the area was cordoned off and the evacuation started. Even the entrance and exit to the town were closed. They also took us out of the building,” he added.
Yıldız stated that he gave a detailed statement to the police about the four hours prior the incident and said, "I call on the Swiss authorities to find those responsible as soon as possible and to give an account before the law. I had to leave my house in Basel where I have lived for years due to the threats. Now I have to keep my residence a secret," he continued.
Underlining that they will continue to work without compromising on the truth for the benefit of the Turkish community in Switzerland, Yıldız said: "We live here in peace and tranquility as the Turkish community. We are pioneering the integration of the Turks into Switzerland. Such threats will not turn us away from our struggle.”
Stating that the destructive power of the bomb has yet to be determined, Yıldız added that it has been examined by the Swiss police and the investigation continues.
PKK supporters of the terrorist group have been behind attacks on Turkish businesses and organizations in Switzerland in recent months.
Yıldız had to stay away from his house where his office was also located for 18 years because his children were worried about the increasing number of attacks.
Yıldız emphasized that he believes the bomb found in the mailbox of the ITT headquarters was planted by PKK supporters.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women and children.
Europol's annual terrorism report "European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2020" suggests the PKK is actively engaged in propaganda activities as well as collecting money in European countries such as Belgium, Germany and Romania.
"Members and sympathizers of the PKK continued to be involved in legal and illegal activities to raise funds to support the group and its affiliates," the report said.
The PKK and its sympathizers carried out many violent attacks and rallies targeting the Turkish community in Europe. Last year, sympathizers of the terrorist group vandalized mosques and shops belonging to the Turkish community in Germany. Such incidents were also reported in Belgium and Switzerland.
Turkey has long criticized European authorities for tolerating PKK activities in their countries and has pressured them to take stricter measures against the propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities of the group. Despite its status as a designated international terrorist organization, the PKK has enjoyed relative freedom in European cities and has a particularly strong presence in Germany. PKK supporters have been allowed to hold rallies, recruit militants and collect funds in Germany, which is home to some 5 million people of Turkish origin, including Kurds.
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