PKK crimes reach record high in Germany

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 27.04.2017 01:54

A recent report released by the German Interior Ministry revealed a sharp increase in offences committed last year by the PKK terrorist group, which has been outlawed in the country since 1993.

In 2016, crimes committed by PKK followers in Germany increased by 97.6 percent and reached 1,597 cases, according to the report.

Many of the incidents involved PKK followers violating demonstration and assembly laws, the report said.

Turkey has long criticized Germany for not taking serious measures against the PKK terror group, which is carrying out propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities from the country.

The PKK has more than 14,000 followers in Germany, and raised more than €13 million ($14.3 million) in 2015, according to reports by the German domestic intelligence agency, the BfV.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. During its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, more than 40,000 people have lost their lives.

Meanwhile, according to European Police Office's (EUROPOL) "Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2016," the PKK increased its fundraising, propaganda and recruitment after the termination of its cease-fire with Turkey in July 2015 and the subsequent escalation of the conflict.

"Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands reported the continuity of the PKK's annual fundraising campaigns, which included collecting donations, membership fees and other revenues.

The proceeds are believed to fund the group's armed wing, the People's Defense Forces (HPG), as well as the group's counterpart in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG)," the report suggested.

EUROPOL also drew attention to the activities of the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), saying that sympathizers of the terrorist organization in European countries continued to provide financial and logistical support and openly praise its terrorist acts by "often covering up such activities by using legitimate associations."

"Financial support came mainly from businesses, the collection of donations, the sale of publications and concerts," the report pointed.

The DHKP-C is officially listed as a terrorist organization by both the EU and U.S.

The group was behind a suicide bombing that targeted the American Embassy in Ankara in 2013, leaving a Turkish security guard dead.

Also in August 2015, two suspected members of the DHKP-C opened fire on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul and fled when police returned fire.

Additionally, the group was responsible for killing a prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, in an Istanbul courthouse complex back in March 2015.

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