Terrorist group PKK’s suicide team, known as the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), assumed responsibility Sunday for the terrorist bomb attacks that killed 38 people and injured 155 Saturday night in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district.
The statement released by the terror group said that nobody in Turkey should expect to lead a peaceful life as long as these situations persist and Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned PKK leader, remains behind bars.
Intelligence sources said on Sunday that one of the suspected suicide bombers of the deadly attack entered Turkey from the PYD-controlled area in Syria.
The People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the military wing of the PYD, had previously threatened Turkey with terror attacks with a video released in February this year where the group declared war on Turkey.
Both the PYD and the YPG are the offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization operating in Syria. The militants often receive training in Syria in YPG positions and travel to Turkey to carry out attacks for TAK or PKK, both groups share organic ties with the PYD/YPG.
TAK said that two of their members died in the attacks, but they did not specify if they were suicide attackers, adding that they will release the information of the attackers in upcoming days.
Istanbul was rocked by twin blasts late Saturday, which killed 38 people and injured 155 others, 14 of whom are in critical condition. Officials have noted that initial findings suggest the brutal attack was carried out by the PKK terrorist organization.
The group has previously claimed various attacks on civilians that took place in recent periods.
On Feb. 17, TAK assumed responsibility for the car bomb attack that killed 29 people, mainly military personnel, in central Ankara during evening rush hour. Again in Ankara, 37 civilians were killed when a car bomb was driven into civilians at a busy bus stop and detonated on March 13.
On June 10, a TAK-claimed car bomb detonated while a riot police shuttle bus was passing in Istanbul’s Fatih district, killing 12 people, including five civilians, while injuring dozens of others.
At least 13 people were injured when a suicide bomber detonated himself near the historic Ulu (Grand) Mosque in the northwestern city of Bursa on April 27.
TAK also claimed the mortar attack on Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Dec. 23, 2015, that left an airport cleaner dead and injured another, while damaging five aircraft.
Other attacks targeting civilians by the PKK-affiliate TAK:
Five people were killed, two of them tourists, and 20 people were injured when a bomb exploded in Kuşadası, a coastal resort town in western Turkey on July 10, 2005.
The Justice and Development (AK) Party’s representation office in Istanbul was attacked on April 5, 2006.
Two people were killed in a hotel attack in the southwestern Marmaris district on April 28, 2006.
Four people were killed and many were injured in an attack in Antalya on Aug. 28, 2006.
Four soldiers and one civilian were killed when a military bus was blown up in Istanbul’s Halkalı district on June 22, 2010.
Thirty-two people were injured in an attack in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Oct. 31, 2010.
A bomb attack killed three people and injured 34 in Ankara’s Kızılay Square on Sept. 20, 2011.
European Union and the PKK
The European Union funds foundations linked to the PKK in European countries with 30 million euros per year, despite the group being listed as a terrorist organization, according to Turkish intelligence sources.
The terror group, which was listed as a terror organization in 2002 by the EU Commission, started organizing in EU countries in 1999 thanks to member countries providing political conveniences. The PKK, which claimed thousands of innocent lives in Turkey, has wide elbowroom in EU countries and Ankara has repeatedly said that European countries support the PKK both financially and politically.
The PKK terrorist organization does not only kill civilians and security officers within Turkey’s borders but it also conducts the widest range of drug distribution in the country.
Turkey reclaimed 136 PKK terrorists from Germany between 2006 and 2016, but German authorities have extradited just three of them so far, according to the International Law and Foreign Affair General Directorate of the Justice Ministry.
The general directorate of the ministry also says that besides Germany, Turkey also reclaimed another 263 terrorists from 20 EU countries between 2007 and 2016 but only eight of them have been sent back to Turkey.
EU authorities recognize the PKK terror foundations in the European borders as official non-governmental organizations.
The deadly terror group opens its associations in Europe by deceitfully naming them “democratic center,” “Kurdish people centers,” or “community centers.” However despite this these places are often used by the PKK to spread their terror propaganda.
All these foundations linked to the PKK belongs to an umbrella association led by Yüksel Koç and Şemse Güllü called “The European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCD-E),” whose center is located in Belgium’s Charleoi town.
The PKK’s propaganda in Europe has been conducted by “The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)” which hold meetings per year in Belgium’s capital city of Brussels.
In the 16th annual meeting held in September 2, 2016, the KNK called for fight against Turkish state. The congress are led by the PKK militants; Nilüfer Koç, Rebuvar Teşid and Adem Uzun.
The PKK terror organization has increased its attacks against Turkish people in European countries following its political wing of the detentions of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) due to their open support to the deadly terror group and its members.
The terror group is also allowed by the European countries to protest against Turkish state, to declare war on the government and to want their imprsion-leader Abdullah Öcalan to be released.
President Erdoğan had said weapons confiscated from the PKK in recent anti-terror operations are mainly Western-made, including heavy weaponry. “When we ask that how these weapons fell into the hands of the PKK, their answer is ready; they claim that these were sent to the anti-Daesh coalition,” Erdoğan had said.
Since July 20, 2015 the PKK terror organization has killed 787 security forces and 312 civilians.
In the attacks, more than 4,000 security forces, and more than 2,000 civilians have been injured. In operations against the separatist terror group, more than 5,500 weapons, 650,000 ammunition, 142 tons of explosive material, and nearly 15,000 bombs were confiscated, the president had said, adding that the West turns away from the realities of the terror organization.
Germany and Belgium are especially known for their tolerant and supportive stance towards multiple terrorist organizations, including the PKK, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and FETÖ. Terrorists flee Turkey seeking a safe haven in these countries, where they are given shelter and evade prosecution in Turkey.
Aside from Belgium and Germany, the PKK is also active in other EU countries such as Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Greece.