Turkish authorities have detained a Swedish citizen over suspected links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır, police said on Tuesday.
Turkish police and intelligence determined that the 46-year-old had visited Turkey to allegedly conduct meetings with PKK-affiliated people and had organized gatherings and activities for the organization in Sweden, the police said. The detained individual is of Turkish origin, it said.
The person, identified only by the initials H.B., was held in Diyarbakir province and accused of leading the PKK’s operations in Sweden, according to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.
The detention was part of a joint probe launched by the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, Turkey’s notorious National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and security forces. H.B., who had been photographed with a poster of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed PKK leader, reportedly came to Turkey to hold clandestine meetings with PKK affiliates.
The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union, has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. Violence in the largely Kurdish Southeast has escalated since the collapse of a ceasefire in 2015.
Turkey has in recent months conducted strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq, especially the insurgents’ stronghold in the Qandil mountains, where Ankara has also threatened to carry out a ground offensive.