A senior PKK figure was charged with membership in a terrorist organisation and sentenced to two years and six months in prison after 135 YPG/PKK terrorists were returned to Germany in July.

German police guard the entrance to the parliament of the German federal state of Hesse after a violent demonstration in Wiesbaden, February 18, 1999.
German police guard the entrance to the parliament of the German federal state of Hesse after a violent demonstration in Wiesbaden, February 18, 1999. (AP)

A court in western Germany has convicted a 60-year-old Turkish citizen of being a member in the terrorist group PKK.

Koblenz regional court sentenced the man, whose name was not released, to two years and six months imprisonment for “membership in a foreign terrorist organisation.”

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Prosecutors accused the defendant, who lives in Germany, of organising propaganda campaigns and soliciting donations for the PKK.

In the PKK's decades-old terror campaign against the Turkish state, more than 40,000 people, including women and children, have been killed.

Turkey, the US and the EU recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

Returning threats 

This comes after 135 foreign terrorists, who joined the YPG/PKK and took part in armed attacks in Syria and Iraq, were returned to Germany in early July 2020.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency BfV warned in its annual report that the PKK remains the largest foreign extremist group in the country, and its followers can carry out violent attacks if they receive instructions from the group leaders abroad.

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Since 2013, at least 270 people from Germany travelled to northern Syria and Iraq where they received military training from the PKK and took part in terror attacks in the region and in southeastern Turkey, according to the report.

“At least 23 of them died in the battle zones. Nearly 135 of them returned to Germany in the meantime,” the BfV report said, without giving any further details.

Deep roots

According to the BfV, the PKK has set up new cover organisations in Germany last year to continue its recruitment, propaganda and fundraising activities.

It had nearly 14,500 followers among the country’s immigrant population, and raised an estimated $18.1 million in Germany in various campaigns last year, the report noted.

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The PKK, which is classified as an “ethno-nationalist” and “separatist” terrorist organisation by the EU's law enforcement agency EUROPOL, has been banned in Germany since 1993.

Turkey has long urged German authorities to take more serious measures against the PKK’s activities in this country.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies