'Israeli drones aiding PKK activities in Turkey'

Heron UAVs helped PKK set up bases in Hatay province, Turkish intelligence report says according to 'Today's Zaman'

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 17, 2012 21:02
1 minute read.
PKK Kurdish Rebel

Kurdish Rebel 311. (photo credit: Warrick Page)

 
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Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles seen hovering over parts Turkey have gathered intelligence for the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), Turkey's Today's Zaman reported Tuesday according to Turkish intelligence agencies.

The report claimed that Israeli Heron drones helped the PKK gather information on the Hatay province, bordering Syria, to determine the locations for establishing training bases.

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Today's Zaman failed to say whether the Turkish report implicated Israel in aiding the PKK in any specific attack, many of which result in the deaths of Turkish soldiers.

It claimed, however, that Kenan Yıldızbakan, a PKK member that organized an assault on a naval base in 2010, had visited Israel a number of times, lending to suspicions of collusion.

The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The decades-long conflict between Turkey and Kurdish separatists located largely along the Turkish border with Iraq and Syria has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Kurds, and over 10,000 Turkish soldiers and police.

The Turkish intelligence report underlines the low in diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey, which nosedived when Israel announced it would not apologize officially for the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

Turkey downgraded military, political and economic ties with the Jewish state in the wake of the diplomatic row.

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