Intel reports detail alleged links between dismissed mayors, PKK

Intel reports detail alleged links between dismissed mayors, PKK

Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
Intel reports detail alleged links between dismissed mayors, PKK

AA photo

Intelligence reports contain details about a number of incidents used in the decision to suspend 28 mayors across Turkey over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. 

According to the intelligence reports, some of the municipalities from which the 28 mayors were suspended had transported groups of PKK militants, built public gardens in memory of killed PKK militants, or transported ammunition and arms to the PKK. 

The alleged incidents that led to the suspensions of the mayors were documented in the reports as follows:

On Jan. 4, seven rocket launchers, 10 guns of various models, seven hand grenades, 24 anti-tank rocket projectiles, 19 RPG cartridges, two transmitters, two assault vests, 29 ammunition clips, eight rucksacks and several other cartridges were seized from vehicles belonging to the municipality of Dargeçit in the southeastern province of Mardin. Three people were arrested over the incident. 

On July 9, an attack was carried out using a bomb-laden vehicle. Subsequently, some 20 members of the PKK launched an armed attack on the Cevizlidere Gendarmerie outpost in the Artuklu district of Mardin. They used a vehicle with the license plate “47 AS 012” belonging to the province’s Mazıdağı Municipality. The municipality’s health bureau chief and disinfestation unit chief were among 15 detained after the incident.

On June 13, three PKK militants were killed and two police officers were injured in a gun attack from a vehicle belonging to the Van Metropolitan Municipality in eastern Turkey, after the car was stopped for a security check. The driver was working for the municipality and the car was rented to the Sewer and Water Authority Unit (VASKİ). Three hand grenades, two guns, four cartridge clips, 37 bullets, one transmitter, eight detonators and one electronic unit were seized from the vehicle.

On Sept. 1, security forces stopped a car with the license plate “13 KB 231” in the eastern province of Van.

One of the car’s three occupants ran away while the other two were detained. The car, carrying three Kalashnikovs and one pistol, had been rented to the Van Metropolitan Municipality. 

On June 9, the names Arin Mirkan and Dilar Gencxemiş, suicide bombers from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were given to a public garden whose planning was conducted by the Suruç Municipality in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. 

In February, police determined that diggers from the municipality of Derik in Mardin were being used to build barricades. Five police officers were wounded in gunfire when security forces intervened. 

In May 2014, materials for making Molotov cocktails were seized when an officially-licensed jeep of the Hakkari Municipality was stopped on its way to the province’s Çukurca district. 

Twenty-four of the outgoing mayors were accused of links to the PKK and the other four were accused of links to Gülen, said to be behind the failed July 15 coup attempt.  

The municipalities affected by the decision are mainly located in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern regions.