Germany tolerating activities of YPG/PKK terror group


Violent protests in recent weeks by supporters of the YPG/PKK terrorist group in various German cities have raised concerns over the country’s security.

At least 15 Turks have been injured in attacks by sympathizers or members of the terrorist group on Turkish cafes, restaurants, cultural centers and mosques during protests against Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Syria.

Turkey urged German authorities to take stricter measures and protect its citizens in a diplomatic note to the German Foreign Ministry, diplomats told Anadolu Agency.

But supporters of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot the YPG have threatened to continue their violent and radical protests across the country.

Germany aware of threat

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency BfV and police have repeatedly warned in recent months about the increasing tendency of YPG/PKK followers to resort to violence, fueling tensions in the society.

In a brief report the BfV published recently on its webpage, the agency underlined that the YPG/PKK-affiliated groups in Germany were prepared for more violence in the country and YPG/PKK leaders were encouraging youth groups to commit acts of violence.

Despite these warnings, local authorities have been reluctant so far to ban protests and rallies organized by pro-YPG/PKK groups in various cities since the start of Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Syria on Oct. 9. 

Violent attacks

Last week, PKK followers burned the Turkish flag at a demonstration in the city of Dortmund and spray-painted slogans on the walls of houses in the northwestern city of Bielefeld in an attempt to provoke the Turkish community.

A mosque belonging to Turkish-Muslim umbrella group DITIB was targeted with Molotov cocktails Sunday night.

In the northwestern German city of Herne, pro-YPG/PKK protesters stormed Turkish shops and cafes and injured several people.

A Turkish citizen was also seriously injured in a knife attack during a demonstration by nearly 200 YPG/PKK followers in the city of Luedenscheid.

More than 14,000 YPG/PKK followers

Despite being banned in Germany since 1993, the YPG/PKK remains active, with nearly 14,500 followers, according to an annual report by the BfV.

In 2018, YPG/PKK followers were responsible for 1,873 criminal acts, marking an increase of more than 80% compared to the previous year, 305 of which were violent offenses.

Although the Turkish government has repeatedly called on German authorities to curb propaganda, fundraising and recruitment activities of the YPG/PKK, Berlin has been reluctant to do more to combat the terrorist group.

According to the BfV, the YPG/PKK uses the country as a platform for its fundraising activities and raised more than €15 million last year in Germany.

Turkish officials estimate that the terrorist group is raising more than €40 million a year in Germany through a range of criminal activities including extortion, drug smuggling and sales, migrant trafficking and money laundering.

PKK recruits fighters in Germany

The terrorist group has stepped up its propaganda and recruitment activities in recent years and convinced more than 250 mostly young people in 2018 to travel to northern Syria and join the YPG/PKK, according to the BfV.

The YPG/PKK opened various Facebook sites to attract young people and organized various festivals in Germany and other European countries to recruit them as fighters, German officials said in their report.

Although German authorities have arrested several leading figures of the YPG/PKK in recent years, the terrorist group continues its activities in the country, according to directives from its terrorist leaders in northern Iraq’s mountainous Qandil region.

The YPG/PKK leaders have divided Germany into nine regions and 31 sub-regions and assigned a leading member for each of these regions, according to German intelligence reports.

Berlin refuses to extradite YPG/PKK members

Between 2011 and 2017, German courts opened criminal cases against 387 YPG/PKK suspects on charges of terrorism.

Only 11 leading members of the terrorist organization received punishments, which ranged from two years and six months to four years and six months in prison.

Turkey has requested the arrest and extradition of dozens of leading figures of the terrorist organization, but nearly all of these requests have been rejected as German authorities argued that they needed more concrete evidence.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist group.
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