UK: Cultural center 'front' for outlawed DHKP-C closed
LONDON – Anadolu AgencyA London court has ordered the shuttering of an “Anatolian culture center,” with police branding it a front for funneling funds to the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), according to Britain's Evening Standard.
The decision came after a police raid this April, when counter-terrorism police found that the Anatolian People's Cultural Center in Seven Sisters, North London may have channeled thousands of pounds of U.K. lottery funds and other donations to finance the outlawed group, the paper reported.
According to the Evening Standard, “correspondence requesting money from the National Lottery Fund and a receipt for £10,000 nominally to fund a trip in 2011,” as well as 60 charity collection tins in DHKP-C colors, were found at the center. Other evidence includes photos of two DHKP-C gunmen who shot and killed a Turkish state prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, in March 2015, as well as a shrine to dead militants referred to as “Justice Warriors.”
Barrister Charles Streeten, for the Met Police, said, “The premises act as a terrorist hub — a focal point for DHKP-C activity and in particular for activities relating to garnering support, both financial and ideological, for the DHKP-C,” the paper reported.
Streeten added, “The Anatolian People's Cultural Centre would appear to be little more than a front for terrorist activity," according to the paper.
The closure order, apparently the first counter-terrorist closure under Section 80 of the Antisocial Behavior, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to acts of terrorism, will remain in effect until July 22.
The DHKP-C, which has been listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has carried out a number of attacks in Turkey since 1994.
Among them are an August 2015 armed attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul and a February 2013 suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing security guard Mustafa Akarsu.
The outlawed group was originally founded in 1978 under the name of Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Front) but changed its name to DHKP-C in 1994.