In France, seven of the people who were arrested in an operation against the PKK / KCK and brought to court on charges of “financing of terrorism” and “organized extortion in connection with a terrorist organization” were arrested.
13 PEOPLE WERE DETENTED
13 people were arrested in the operations carried out by the French police forces against the PKK / KCK in the capital Paris, Marseille and Draguignan on March 23, 2021.
Kurdish organizations based in France have shown outrage.
FRANCE – French police conducted searches this morning at numerous addresses in Marseille & Paris. Kurds are targeted in these political operations which come after a meeting between #Macron & #Erdogan. In Marseille, there were about ten arrests.#TwitterKurds pic.twitter.com/STqaicluWT
— Kurdistan au féminin (@KurdistanAu) March 23, 2021
ELECTRONIC CLAMP INSTALLED FOR 1 PERSON
While 4 of the detainees were released under judicial control by the Prosecutor’s Office, 9 people were brought to court on March 26, 2021, accused of “financing terrorism” and “extortion as an organized group linked to a terrorist organization.” While 7 people were arrested and jailed; One person was subjected to electronic handcuffs and one person was reportedly released on condition of judicial control.
PKK TRIAL IN GERMANY
These arrests follow an earlier media report from Stuttgart, Germany, where five Kurdish defendants are currently on trial because of their alleged PKK membership. German prosecutors have demanded high prison sentences against the five defendants.
FRANCE AND SUPPORT FOR THE PKK
The French have a rocky relationship with the PKK.
Paris’s relations with the PKK, which the European Council added to its terror list in September 2001, began with the election of French President Francois Mitterrand in 1981.
The PKK’s activities in France intensified during his two-term tenure until 1995.
Mitterrand’s wife, Danielle, also supported the PKK and encouraged the group to continue attacks.
“You keep taking action. French authorities say, unless Turkey engages heavily with the Kurdish problem, it will be impossible for them to act the way Europe wants. For this reason, the PKK must be politicized and my country will do its part. I will work for my country to give you freedom of movement,” said the former French first lady after a PKK attack.
Trying to show itself as the representative of Kurds, the PKK popularized the term “mother of the Kurds” for Danielle Mitterrand, while her husband ruled France.
During the post-Mitterrand period, which paved the way for the PKK to find support and organize in Europe, the organization maintained relations with French administrations during the Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy presidencies. Associations, foundations and institutes affiliated with the PKK continued activities in France.
With the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, the YPG/PKK found more space and dreamt of establishing a state in northern Syria by taking advantage of the turmoil, with France its greatest supporter among European countries.
The Macron administration not only had a military presence in the area occupied by the YPG/PKK in Syria, but French military advisors also trained terrorists at the Ayn Isa base.
Twenty PKK-affiliated organizations in France are still actively working in French cities.
Thanks to the privileges the French administration provided the PKK, the group is trying to increase its influence by putting pressure on the majority of Kurdish people who are not pro-PKK in France.
The group collects money from Kurds through its so-called representatives in France. Those who do not support the group are not allowed to continue businesses and live in cities where support for the PKK is strong.
ARRESTS OF PKK MEMBERS AND FORCED EXPULSION
On the other hand, France has been showing mixed signs. Last week, it had already questioned Vedat Bingol, a prominent member of PKK’s European wing KCDK-E. Reports state 3 other PKK supporters active in their affiliated organizations had been ordered to their local police stations for questioning.
J’ai été convoqué aujourd’hui au commissariat de Villeneuve Saint-George. En m’y rendant, j’apprends que je serais entendu pour « outrage à Erdogan »
Je me fais convoqué EN FRANCE à la demande des procureurs turcs
Les autorités françaises agissent-elles sûr les ordres d’Erdogan ?
— Vedat Bingol (@Vedat_Bingol) March 24, 2021
In 2020, a Kurdish immigrant named Mehmet Yalcin had been expelled from France over alleged ties with the PKK, that France remains to consider a terrorist organization.