PKK has 14,500 members in Germany: Report

PKK has 14,500 members in Germany: Report

BERLIN - Anadolu Agency
PKK has 14,500 members in Germany: Report

Groups targeting Turkey have expanded their activities and increased their followers in Germany, according to a new report released by a German spy agency on July 24.

Members or adherents of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) increased to 14,500 in 2017, up from 14,000 in the previous year, domestic intelligence agency BfV said in its annual report.

“The PKK continues to be the largest extremist organization of foreigners in Germany in terms of members and efficiency,” the report said.

The group raised more than 14 million euros in Germany and 25 million euros across Europe in various campaigns last year, the spy agency estimated.

“Even though peaceful events remain the focal aim in Europe, violence continues to be an option of the PKK ideology,” the report said.

The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, which is home to more than 3 million immigrants from Turkey.

Leftist groups and FETÖ

The BfV report revealed that far-left groups had also managed to build networks in Germany.

The DHKP-C has 650 adherents while TKP/ML had 1,300 members and MLKP had 600 followers in Germany last year, the report said.

The BfV noted that Turkey viewed U.S. based Fethullah Gülen’s Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) as responsible for the attempted military takeover, but it did not give any detailed information about the activities of the group.

Turkey has heavily criticized Germany for becoming a safe haven for FETÖ members.

Meanwhile, Turkey warned Canada over Ontario-made weapons recently seized during an anti-PKK operation, Anadolu Agency reported on July 24.

Turkish security forces killed seven members of the PKK in the southeastern province of Mardin in late April.

Among equipment seized was a NEA-15 assault rifle, made by the North Eastern Arms of Ontario, Anadolu Agency said, citing a report by Canadian newspaper the National Post from July 22.

The Canadian newspaper added that it is unclear how the weapon found its way into the hands of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist group by Canada.

“We have warned our allies including Canada that weapons given to different groups in Iraq including the Union of Iraqi Kurdistan Patriots (IKYB) could fall into the hands of organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL], and the PKK/Democratic Union Party [PYD],” Turkish Ambassador to Canada Selçuk Ünal told Anadolu Agency.