Contact Us

Terror group PKK uses Germany as place of retreat, place to attract followers, raise funds, says German spy chief

Thomas Haldenwang, Germany's spy chief, revealed that the PKK terrorist group increased its followers in Germany last year, reaching an estimated 15,000 supporters. Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, he noted the PKK's use of Germany as a base for recruitment and fundraising, despite being banned since 1993. Haldenwang also highlighted a recent decline in the group's revenues, attributing it to German financial investigations.

Agencies and A News EUROPE
Published June 18,2024

The PKK terror group last year recruited more followers in Germany, which it sees as a place of retreat, but recently its revenues started to fall, the country's spy chief said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Thomas Haldenwang said the PKK terror group has been monitored by the domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, for many years.

"There has been a slight increase in the number of people supporting the PKK. We now estimate this to be 15,000, compared to 14,500 in the previous year," he told reporters, presenting the agency's annual security report.

Haldenwang admitted that the terror group has been using Germany as a retreat-a place to refinance and recruit-while trying to portray itself as a "moderate" group to gain more acceptance in the country.

Saying the terror group has so far refrained from committing serious crimes in Germany, he explained that it had focused more on propaganda, recruitment, and fund-raising activities.

"Annual campaigns actually bring in millions in money for the PKK, although this year saw a significant decline," he said, adding that financial investigations carried out by German authorities probably contributed to this result.

The terrorist group raised at least €16 million ($17 million) in Germany last year in various fundraising campaigns, according to German estimates.

The PKK is classified as an "ethno-nationalist" and "separatist" terrorist organization by the EU's law enforcement agency EUROPOL, and has been banned in Germany since 1993.

However, it remains active in the country with nearly 15,000 followers among the Kurdish immigrant population, according to the BfV.

Ankara has long called on its NATO ally Germany to take more serious and effective measures against the PKK to prevent future terror attacks,

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people.