PKK members handed over to Turkey by Armenia, PKK says
A claim by Turkish authorities that two senior members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were captured in a cross border operation by the Turkish intelligence was denied by the armed wing of the PKK on Saturday.
The state news agency AA said on Friday, citing an anonymous "security source," that "Atilla Cicek and Huseyin Yildirim were captured by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in operations near the border."
Noting that Cicek was "in the highest category of the Interior Ministry’s list of wanted terrorists," AA alleged that he "carried out deadly terror attacks on Turkish soil, including one in 2012 that killed seven people, including six soldiers, in the eastern Tunceli province."
In a written statement, the press center of the People's Defense Forces (HPG) denied that Cicek and Yildirim were captured in a MIT operation, and that Turkish authorities tried to make up a success story based on fiction and lies.
It said that the two were handed over to Turkey by Armenian authorities after they were arrested by Armenian forces a year ago and faced trial, at the end of which the Armenian court of appeals ordered their release in February 2022.
Cicek and Yildirim were lawlessly detained by the Armenian intelligence despite the release order, and were subsequently handed over to Turkey about a month ago, HPG said, adding that the incident was disgraceful for Armenia as the authorities violated both their domestic laws and international laws.
The Armenian National Security Service denied allegations that they handed over the two PKK members to Turkish authorities. They said the allegations were intended to discredit the National Security Service.
"Reports on various media outlets and social media platforms by people who are involved in social and political activities that Atilla Cicek and Huseyin Yildirim, both Kurds, were handed over to Turkey by the Armenian National Security Service is totally groundless. While such reports do not reflect the truth and lacks any legal basis, the objective is to target and discredit the Armenian National Security Service."