A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced a member of the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) to aggravated life term for violating the constitution, according to a judicial source.
The 26th High Penal Court in Istanbul has convicted Serif Turunc for carrying out a rocket attack on Istanbul Police Headquarters, and a bomb and gun attack on police vehicles in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Turunc has been sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment for the violation of the constitution and also got a jail term of 79 years for several other charges.
The court sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment for the rocket attack on Istanbul Police Headquarters on Jan. 20, 2017, 36 years for attempting to kill public officials by attacking a police vehicle in the city’s Esenyurt district on Jan. 21, 2017.
He was also sentenced to 10 years and six months of imprisonment for carrying weapons without permission, one year and six months for carrying unauthorized weapons without permission, three years for fraud in official documents and 10 years for possessing explosives.
DHKP-C is responsible for a number of terror attacks in Turkey including a 2013 attack on the U.S. embassy in Ankara, in which a Turkish security guard was martyred and a Turkish journalist was injured.
The far-left group is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Turkey, Germany to resume counterterrorism cooperation
Turkey and Germany have agreed to resume counterterrorism cooperation after recent talks between senior Turkish and German officials in Berlin, according to a senior Turkish official on Thursday.”Both sides agreed to cooperate closely in the fields of counterterrorism, irregular migration, smuggling and narcotics,” the official told Anadolu Agency anonymously, adding that Ankara and Berlin would also enhance the functioning of existing mechanisms for cooperation.Muhterem Ince, Turkey’s Interior Ministry undersecretary, and Emily Haber, Germany’s state secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, co-chaired Wednesday’s meeting in Berlin.It was the first top-level gathering between Turkish and German security officials after months of political tensions between the two countries which also undermined cooperation over security and counterterrorism issues.The Turkish delegation was due to hold further talks with German counterparts on Thursday.Germany has long sought closer cooperation with Turkey against the threat of foreign fighter terrorists, and in combatting organized crime groups, human traffickers and smugglers.Turkey, on the other hand, demands more serious measures against outlawed groups and terrorist organizations like FETO and PKK, which use Germany as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are responsible for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that martyred 250 people and left 2,200 injured.FETO loyalists have managed to organize a large network, including businesses, private schools, and media organizations in Germany, which is home to around 3 million Turkish immigrants.Apart from FETO, the PKK also carries out significant activities in the country, and has nearly 14,000 followers among Germany’s Kurdish immigrant population.Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state since the mid-1980s, killing an estimated 40,000 people including women and children.More than 1,200 have been killed since July 2015 alone, when the group resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a fragile cease-fire.
Turkey, Germany holding counter-terrorism talks
Senior officials from Turkey and Germany are starting a two-day high-level meeting in Berlin on Wednesday to discuss security and counter-terrorism issues, and measures against the terrorist PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), according to diplomatic sources.Muhterem Ince, Turkey’s Interior Ministry undersecretary, and Emily Haber, Germany’s state secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, are co-chairing the meeting, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.“Turkey’s expectations from Germany in the fight against terrorism and measures against terrorist groups such as the PKK and FETÖ — the group behind the 2016 attempted coup — are among the major items on the agenda,” a senior Turkish official told Anadolu Agency,The fight against the terrorist group Daesh, measures against foreign fighters, and cooperation against organized crime are among the other topics on the agenda.The meeting will be the first top-level gathering between Turkish and German security officials after months of political tensions between the two countries which also undermined cooperation over security.Ties between Ankara and Berlin were strained as Turkish politicians blasted their German counterparts for not taking serious measures against outlawed groups and terrorist organizations which use Germany as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.German politicians, on the other hand, criticized Ankara — especially before their general elections in September — over the arrest of around a dozen German citizens, including a reporter, a translator, and a human rights activist, on suspicion of aiding and abetting terrorist groups.Fight against PKKThe two countries took steps in recent weeks towards normalization, and intensified talks to address their political differences on a number of issues.German authorities announced on Wednesday they have intensified investigations into PKK activities in the country.The Federal Prosecutor’s office, which is responsible for terrorism cases, opened 130 investigations against PKK activities in 2017, officials told German news agency DPA.The prosecutors opened 40 such investigations in 2016 and only 20 investigations in 2015.Turkey has called on German authorities to take more serious measures against the PKK, which is banned in Germany since 1993, and listed as a terrorist organisation.The terrorist group has nearly 14,000 followers among Germany’s Kurdish immigrant population, according to the German domestic intelligence agency BfV.Mustafa Yeneroglu, a senior lawmaker of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, has said such legal investigations were important, but inadequate in countering PKK activities in Germany.“Germany’s domestic intelligence agency lists cover organisations of the PKK in its reports. It is the duty of Germany’s Interior Minister to ban these organisations, to put an end to their activities,” he tweeted.The PKK carries out significant propaganda and fund-raising activities in Germany, according to domestic intelligence agency BfV’s annual reports, which are available to public.Apart from PKK, the activities of FETÖ in Germany remains a cause of friction between Ankara and Berlin.FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen are responsible for the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that martyred 250 people and left 2,200 injured.FETÖ loyalists have managed to organize a large network, including dozens of businesses, private schools, and media organisations in the country.Germany has a 3-million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens of Turkish descent, whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.