DIYARBAKIR, Turkey

A surrendered terrorist in a Turkish southeastern province said the PKK/KCK terror group has hardly recruited any members in 2020.

“Lately, the number of participants joining the organization has significantly dropped. There was hardly any participation to the PKK terrorist organization in 2020,” the terrorist testified as part of an investigation launched by prosecutors in southeastern Diyarbakir province.

Through persuasion efforts of the security forces, the 21-year-old PKK terrorist, identified only by initials H.K., surrendered in the southeastern Sirnak province’s Habur border crossing.

He said he was sent to join the terrorist organization from the building of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Diyarbakir six years ago, and stayed in the terrorist camp in Qandil, northern Iraq.

The party is accused by the government of having links with the PKK terror group.

He also said he was impressed by the environment during the Nowruz Festival — which marks the first day of spring — and so decided to join the group.

Underlining that the HDP plays an important role in recruitment, he said: “The Nowruz events were very important for joining [the PKK]. They made intensive terror propaganda in the field and encouraged people to join the organization.”

After regretting to have joined the organization, he said he told a senior terrorist, codenamed Mizgin Kocer, that he wanted to leave the terror group.

“I noticed a smart mobile phone in the hands of two members who were operating in the [so-called] assassination and heavy weapons unit in Qandil. They had downloaded an application that I did not know,” he said, adding that this app helped them make some measurements such as where a cave entrance would be built or where to place ventilation.

Stressing that Murat Karayilan, one of the ringleaders, ordered the execution of members who tried to flee the terror group in 2019, the surrendered terrorist said the alleged PKK leaders were trying to deter them from leaving the organization by making propaganda.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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