PKK militants in northern Iraq, AFP photo
The director of a Turkish think tank says Israel trains the
armed men with the anti-Ankara militant group, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
in northern Iraq.
The head of the International Strategic Research Organization, Sedat Laciner,
said the Israeli Spy Agency's (Mossad) operatives and the Israeli military's
retirees had been sighted providing training to PKK militants in Iraq's
Kurdistan, Turkey-based English-language newspaper Today's Zaman said on
The Turkish academic held that PKK's major operations in big cities bear the
hallmark of Israel and said, "These terrorist were trained by Israeli
intelligence officers on how to best penetrate cities."
Laciner said Tel Aviv does not have a positive perception of Turkey's ruling
Justice and Development Party — led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — and
thus tries to paint a radical picture of it. "The PKK is a mere contractor for
Israel to serve that purpose," he explained.
Laciner said some Israeli groups work with PKK, using its offshoot, Party for
Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK). The latter terrorist group has carried out
several deadly attacks against Iranian nationals and security forces inside
More than 40,000 people have lost their lives since the militant group launched
its armed campaign against Ankara in 1984, as part of a quest to establish an
independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey.
Raising serious concerns among the Turkish authorities was the PKK's slaughter
of seven Turkish soldiers in a rocket attack on a naval base in the southern
province of Hatay on May 31.
Turkey's intelligence organizations are also looking to see whether the attack
was linked to the Israeli military's onslaught on a Turkish-backed relief
mission which had set out to break Tel Aviv's siege of the Gaza Strip. The
assault in international waters killed at least 20 people, including eight Turks
and a US national of Turkish origin.
The leader of Turkey's Felicity Party, Numan Kurtulmus said "...I hope it was a
coincidence that Israel began to attack the ship after a brutal attack on a
Turkish Naval Forces base in Iskenderun..."