Top officials denied claims on Karayılan

Top officials denied claims on Karayılan

Top officials denied claims on Karayılan

PKK leader Murat Karayılan was claimed to be captured by Iran. DHA photo.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç yesterday denied claims that Murat Karayılan, one of the top leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was captured and later released by Iran following negotiations between the organization and Tehran.

Arınç also denied claims that appeared in the media indicating he had confirmed the allegations, adding that such news did not reflect reality and that he had issued no such comments.

“[One] ought to be cautious and not believe in [such claims] without [confirmation] from intelligence units,” Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said.

“We will explain it when the time comes,” Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency.

Karayılan and his aides were captured by Iranian forces who were assaulting the Iranian wing of the PKK, the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), in the Kandil Mountains two days prior to the aerial bombardment of PKK areas in northern Iraq by the Turkish Air Force, according to claims made by a Turkish daily yesterday.

Turkey rejected Iran’s offer to launch a joint strike against PJAK forces but agreed to share intelligence, according to the allegations. In turn, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) allegedly relayed the coordinates of Karayılan’s position to Iran.

Karayılan and his aides were then taken to the Iranian city of Urmia and thus saved from Turkey’s bombardment of the Kandil Mountains, according to claims. Iran did not inform Turkey of the situation, although Turkey allegedly learned about the developments through its own channels.

Karayılan and a group of PKK members were eventually released by Iran following a series of negotiations between the organization and Tehran, including some haggling over Syria, according to claims