Radical supporters of the PKK terrorist organization attacked a Turkish cultural center and other compounds in France, the head of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), Abdullah Eren said Thursday.
“Terrorist PKK supporters attacked the Turkish Cultural Center and masjids in Marseille, France,” Eren said in a tweet, adding that it marked the fourth time in a week that PKK supporters have targeted Turkish compounds.
Eren continued by urging French authorities to take action against the violent attacks, which threaten public safety and security in the country.
Despite its status as a designated international terrorist organization with established criminal networks, the PKK has enjoyed relative freedom in European cities and has a strong presence. The group is rarely the target of police investigations.
The PKK continues to use the European Union’s territory to spread propaganda, recruit new members, fundraise and for logistical support activities, according to a report by the EU’s law enforcement agency released last year.
Europol’s annual terrorism report, titled “European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2020,” noted that the PKK is actively involved in disseminating propaganda as well as collecting money in European countries.
Turkey has long criticized European authorities for tolerating PKK activities in their countries and has pressured them to take stricter measures against the propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities of the group.
Of the countries in Europe, France is known to have the closest ties to the PKK, as the terrorist has received the support of several presidents, ranging from Francois Mitterand to the incumbent Emmanuel Macron, through different means.
Macron in particular made a clear show of his support, inviting members of the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the YPG, to Elysee Palace in April 2019.
The terrorists visited the palace as representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.