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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Turkish Involvement in PKK Killings?

Spiegel Online reports that there is evidence that Turkey's intelligence agency was involved in the murder of three Kurdish activists last month in Paris. From the story:
The triple murders in January 2014 of Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) activists in Paris may ultimately emerge as one of the most audacious political killings to take place in Western Europe in years. New suspicions -- although they are still only that -- suggest there may be Turkish intelligence links to the slayings, a development that, if proven, could have serious repercussions for relations between Ankara and Europe. The case has numerous links to Germany, and officials here are closely monitoring the investigation as it unfolds in France.

At the center of the explosive new details is a recording -- a purported conversation between Ömer Güney, the man accused of murdering the three female activists, and what are alleged to be two members of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT). The recording was posted on the Internet on Jan. 12, ostensibly by a friend of Güney, who has since been charged by French prosecutors in the killing. Güney, who lived in Bavaria in Southern Germany from 2003 to 2011, had left the recording with the friend in case something happened to him.
 
The recording is 10 minutes long and includes what are purported to be details about the planned killings. "Are you thinking of using gloves?" a suspected MIT agent asks. "Yes," the alleged shooter answers. "No traces on the gun."

In the recording, the men discuss the fact that the killer needs two guns in case one of them fails. And that he wants to purchase his weapons and ammunition from an Arab in Belgium, but hasn't done so yet. Also that he has already had one opportunity to strike.
... Together with other circumstantial evidence, the recording is fueling the suspicion currently being pursued by French investigators. It is one that has also unsettled German security agencies. They suspect that Güney may have murdered the three PKK activists in a hit ordered by Turkey's MIT. The PKK is banned in the European Union as a terrorist organization. 
The main piece of evidence supporting the theory is a document allegedly originating from MIT. The document discusses one of the three female activists being "rendered ineffective." 
Is it possible that a country that wants to become a member of the EU allowed a contract killing to be conducted on EU territory? 
Of course, it is still only a suspicion. But if proven, it could have dramatic consequences -- not only on the ties Germany and France have with Turkey, but between all of Europe and Ankara. 

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