Turkey says unveiled Syria’s support of PKK’s urban branch

May 17, 2012, Thursday/ 21:14:00/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM

Turkish Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin has said Turkey unveiled Syrian support to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization for all groups related to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Şahin told Italian journalists following his meeting with the head of the Italian parliamentary committee on Schengen and immigration issues, Margherita Boniver, along with her delegation, that Turkey doesn’t want to think that Syrian regime will resort to state terrorism in response to Turkey’s Syria policy, which he said is based on standing by Syrian people.

Şahin underlined that investigations, findings and intelligence show that Syria is lending support to “separatist terrorist organization KCK.” He said Syrian regime has lost control of some towns close to the Turkish border in Syria and that they are run by what he said “militants of illegal separatist terrorist organization.”

Majority-Sunni Turkey, which shares a 900-km (550-mile) long border with Syria, fears the internal conflict could develop into sectarian and ethnic fighting that could spill across borders, pitting Shi'ite Muslims against Sunnis.     

Once a close ally of Damascus, Turkey has become increasingly frustrated with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad's refusal to bring an end to the violence, and has thrown its weight behind his opponents.     

Şahin added that Turkey is stepping up security of its Syria border and strengthened intelligence activities about the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) considering all possible developments in Syria.

The KCK is a clandestine organization linked to the PKK and Turkish authorities have launched investigation in December 2009. A large number of Kurdish politicians, including several mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), have been detained during the investigation.

The suspects are accused of various crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy the country's unity and integrity. BDP officials have said the investigation is the government's method of suppressing BDP politicians, denying any links between the suspects and any terrorist organizations.

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