Posted by Ekurd Daily on

Spanish police. photo: Reuters

Spanish police. photo: Reuters

MADRID,— Spanish police arrested nine people on Wednesday accused of belonging to and collaborating with a criminal and terrorist organisation due to connections with the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and US, but its image has improved in the West as its sister party in Syria has been at the forefront of the fight against the Islamic State. However, Russia, Switzerland, India, China and the United Nations do not list the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Of those arrested, eight were from Spain and one from Turkey, according to the statement.

The operation, which remains open, also searched 11 houses during dawn raids in Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao, the ministry said.

“Those arrested, in collaboration with other residents in other European countries, supplied the necessary infrastructure to send people to join the ranks of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) or the armed wing of the organisation,” the ministry said.

Including the arrests on Wednesday, Spain has detained 19 people accused of belonging to the PKK since 2013, according to the ministry.

The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population, in Turkish Kurdistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands dead.

A large Turkey’s Kurdish community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.

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