Former YPG official reveals HDP's support for terrorist organization

The Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) support to the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG), has been revealed as the former spokesman of the terrorist group gave details of the party's financial backing, as well as role in finding recruits and sending them to Syria.

The greatest support for the YPG, which turned the Syrian civil war that started in 2011 into a chance to gain power, comes from the HDP, according to Talal Silo who explained the HDP-PKK relationship. Silo, who fled the group in November 2017 and sought refuge in Turkey after having been the official spokesman of the YPG for at least two years, revealed that millions of dollars were transferred by the HDP to the group under various headings as education and culture, to be used in militant passing, health support, financial aid or procurement of equipment.

"During the time I spent there, I hosted dozens of HDP delegations and personally witnessed their support. More than 300 municipal vehicles from municipalities lead by the HDP itself, were sent to regions including Ayn al-Arab and Tel Abyad for motorways, electricity, et cetera," Silo told Yeni Şafak daily. He also mentioned a man called Sivar who was responsible for listing necessary equipment and conveying them to the HDP Coordination Unit in southeastern Diyarbakır province. A support coordination unit was also established for the HDP municipalities' aid activities in Haseke, Syria.

He pointed out that the PKK evolved into a new form after Daesh's Ayn al-Arab attack when the U.S. and other western countries enhanced their support immensely

. To meet the militants demands, the HDP started to find recruits for the PKK. "All HDP organizations carried out militant work for Syria. Terrorists, who came from different regions of Turkey for training, were delivered by the HDP to the YPG.

Similarly, terrorists involved in terrorist activities in Turkey were brought to the scene by the HDP," he added that he knew that this relation increased after he left. It was also revealed that the HDP municipalities' share of the treasury and their sources were transferred to a common pool. Whether small or big, every municipality was paying this on a monthly basis, reportedly. Meetings at certain intervals were held between terrorists and HDP executives where the deficiencies of the organization were detected. Since he participated in several critical meetings, Silo said: "They were saying that as long as names like Şahin Cilo, Elder Halil and İlham Ahmed and HDP municipalities in Turkey exist, we are safe here. We get all the help we need. If necessary, we support them similarly." He witnessed support in 2016. An aid of Şahin Cilo crossed the border and infiltrated Turkey. They organized an extensive suicide bomb attack on a military unit that the HDP had reported to be "causing trouble." This was the way of the PKK to pay the HDP back, he said. "After injured PKK members were transferred to Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa and Mardin provinces and were treated in health centers there, they were once again sent to the front. All expenses were met by the HDP," Silo added.

On Aug.19, the HDP mayor of Diyarbakır along with those of the provinces Van and Mardin were dismissed due to links to the PKK terrorist organization. According to the Interior Ministry statement, mayors Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan were suspended for supporting terrorism. The state-appointed governors of the provinces are temporarily replacing suspended mayors as trustees. It was announced that the mayors already had active cases against them in which they were accused of crimes such as establishing or spreading propaganda for a terror group or else just being a member. All three mayors were from the HDP party and were elected to their posts in the March 31 local elections. With the latest move, mayors linked to the HDP remain in control in cities in only five eastern provinces, namely Batman, Iğdır, Hakkari, Kars and Siirt. Ahead of the March election, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu had said 178 candidates were being investigated over alleged PKK links. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the time warned that HDP mayors could again be dismissed if they, like their predecessors, were deemed to have ties to militants.

The HDP has many times drawn fire for transferring taxpayers' money and funds to the PKK, a globally recognized terrorist group. HDP mayors and local officials have been found to misuse funds in support of the PKK terrorist group and provide jobs to PKK sympathizers. Its mayors have also been accused of undermining municipal services, allowing the PKK to dig ditches on the streets and launch attacks on police and soldiers when the terrorist group adopted an urban warfare strategy in July 2015 and ended a two-year reconciliation period. HDP municipalities and their staff were also found to be actively participating in terrorist attacks launched after July 2015.

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