US State Department offers reward for information on key PKK leaders

US State Department offers reward for information on key PKK leaders

ANKARA
US State Department offers reward for information on key PKK leaders

The United States said on Nov. 6 that it is offering up to $5 million for information leading to the identification or location of three senior members of the illegal PKK.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara following a visit by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer. It said Washington authorised rewards up to $5 million for information on Murat Karayılan, $4 million for Cemil Bayık and $3 million for Duran Kalkan.

“The U.S. values its counterterrorism cooperation with our NATO Ally Turkey. As part of my visit, I am pleased to announce that the @StateDept @Rewards4Justice program is targeting three senior members of the terrorist organization #PKK," Palmer said, according to the embassy's Twitter account.

"Provide information and payment may be possible. 100% confidentiality guaranteed. Relocation may be possible," the U.S. State Department program titled "Rewards for Justice" said in a separate tweet.

The PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

Karayılan has been the PKK's acting leader ever since the organization's founder and leader, Abdullah Öcalan, was captured by Turkish security forces in 1999.

As another founding member and senior leader of the PKK, Bayık is also among the members of the KCK, an umbrella group covering the PKK and its offshoots in neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Turkish officials had stated that Bayık was the main culprit of a car bomb attack which killed 35 people in Ankara's central Kızılay Square in March 2016, while Kalkan, another senior PKK leader, was responsible for an attack that killed seven Turkish soldiers in December 2009.

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PKK, terrorism, bounty