Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Photo: EPA
Israeli drones have been detected spying on Turkish military units in southern Turkey for the PKK (Kurdistan Worker's Party), according to Today’s Zaman, Turkey's English version of the mass-circulation Turkish daily Zaman. The PKK is considered by the US and EU to be a terrorist organization.
The Jerusalem Post is also on the story. First, TODAY'S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL
Turkish intelligence agencies prepared a report after the detection of two Israeli Herons in Hatay and Adana roughly two months ago, claiming that the Herons are collecting intelligence on Turkish military units in order to aid PKK operations in those regions.
The report asserts that the PKK's training camps in northern Syria, near Turkey's Hatay border “where Turkish military border posts are relatively weak,” were established in those locations based on intelligence collected by the UAVs.
The report also claims that Kenan Yıldızbakan, a PKK member who commanded an assault against a Turkish naval base in İskenderun in 2010, has made repeated trips into Israeli territory, reinforcing suspicions of a possible link between Israel and the PKK.
Today the same publication reported there were "increasing indications" that Israel and the PKK were "uniting against the Turkish government" in an analysis by Dr. Othman Ali titled "Possible consequences of PKK-Israeli union:"
If this alliance is to take place, it will have serious and far-reaching consequences for Turkey and the Kurdish question. It is our contention that the Kurds and the PKK, in particular are going to be the most adversely affected by this alliance. How and why did this union between PKK and Israel come up and what can be done to deny Israel this leverage in its conflict with Turkey? Starting in the early 1950s, the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad) developed what was known as “the “periphery policy” of the Middle East in which it planned to establish ties with ethnic and religious minorities in the area in order to break the Arab embargo and the isolation Israel feels. Thus, Israel cemented close ties with some Maronites, Druze, Copts, the shah of Iran and Kurdish leaders and groups....
Consequently, Mossad managed to penetrate the Kurdish movement in the early 1960s. The story of Kurdish-Israeli ties has been detailed in “The Mossad in Iraq” by Shlomo Nakdimon. It suffices to say that the relationship was very exploitive and had harmful consequences for the Kurds. It was Zionist circles which in response to then-Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat’s request to end the war in Iraqi Kurdistan asked the shah of Iran in 1975 to cut support for the Kurdish revolution. So Kurds have experienced Israel, with tragic consequences in the last century, and the PKK needs to take this into account.
The Jerusalem Post is following this story under the title 'PKK using Israeli drones to attack Turkish troops'
The party, known by its acronym PKK, has a long history of violence in pursuit of Kurdish-self rule and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.
The report also claims that Kenan Yıldızbakan – a PKK member who led an assault against a Turkish naval base in Hatay in 2010 – has visited Israel on numerous occasions, further raising suspicions of his organization’s ties to the Jewish state.
Seymour Hersh reported in 2004 that hundreds of Israeli agents, including Mossad agents, were conducting covert operations in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Iran and Syria. PKK militants have confessed to having received training from Mossad officials.
(Hat tip commenter Marc b.)