Police detain three foreign nationals in op against PKK, PYD

Police detain three foreign nationals in op against PKK, PYD

AYDIN – Doğan News Agency
Police detain three foreign nationals in op against PKK, PYD Police detained three foreign nationals, one U.K. national and two Bulgarian nationals, in the popular seaside holiday resort of Didim in the Aegean province of Aydın in an operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on July 26.

The detention came after a denunciation sent to the Aydın provincial directorate of security through an e-mail that the U.K. citizen, identified only as J.A.R, and the Bulgarian citizen, identified only as M.Y.A, and her mother, V.P.R.A., were active in the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK)/PYD organizations and were on holiday in Didim. Upon the denunciation, police teams detained the three people at a house, seizing the suspects’ mobile phones, laptops, and various digital materials.  

The suspect J.A.R. said in his testimony that he had gone to Syria in 2015 to provide medical assistance to the PYD’s armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), and stayed there for three months. “I received weapons training from the YPG but I was not involved in any clash. Then after having left there [Syria], I went back to the U.K. About 10 days ago, I came with M.Y.A. and her mother V.P.R.A. to Turkey for the purpose of a vacation,” J.A.R. reportedly said.

The suspect M.Y.A. reportedly told the police that he had received law education in the Netherlands and the U.K. and had met with J.A.R. in 2015 on social media. M.Y.A.’s mother V.P.R.A told police in her testimony that she had learned about the “friendship” between her daughter and J.A.R. only recently and they were in Turkey only for the purpose of a holiday. 

The authorities indicated that they determined that the suspects J.A.R. and M.Y.A. had “made YPG propaganda” on their social media accounts by wearing outfits used by the YPG members. No crime was yet found for V.P.R.A., the officials indicated, while the investigation was reported to be ongoing.  

Separately, police detained another 12 suspects in Istanbul in an operation against the PKK, simultaneously conducted in the city’s seven districts. 

The Turkish military said on July 28 that four PKK militants were killed in northern Iraq.

According to a statement issued by the Turkish General Staff, an air operation was launched on July 28 in the Zap and Avasin-Basyan areas.      

The militants were preparing to carry out attacks on Turkish security checkpoints and military bases along the border with Iraq, the statement said.      

The operation also destroyed the group’s shelters and weapon emplacements.      

According to military figures released on July 28, 55 PKK militants were killed in counterterrorism operations in southeastern Turkey over the last week. 

The operations were conducted in the southeastern provinces of Şırnak, Hakkari, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Bitlis and Ağrı between July 20 and 27, the statement read.        

Twenty-one firearms - 19 infantry rifles, one machine gun and a sniper rifle - were found. Twenty kilograms of explosives, over 2,000 kg of ammonium nitrate, 54 hand grenades and over 3,000 round of ammunition were seized.        

Raids destroyed 18 shelters used by militants.        

Separately, a vehicle loaded with explosives was destroyed in Turkey’s eastern province of Van.        

Over 7,000 cannabis plants, 50 kg of other illegal drugs and over 15,000 packets of smuggled cigarettes were found in the raids, according to the military.