Greece: PKK Supporter
Q: Why is Greece important for the PKK?
A: Greece is used by the PKK as a launch pad to infiltrate Europe.
Q: How was the Greek-PKK connection established?
A: It started when Greece established the Lavrion refugee camp and started sheltering pro-PKK Kurds there.
Q: Is there any other NATO country that allows use of its territory for activities against another NATO country?
A: No. France was providing shelter to Basque guerillas, but that has ceased.
Q: Are there any PKK camps in Greece?
A: Yes. It’s been known for some time that the PKK has at least three mobile training camps in Greece. Greece has been denying the existence of camps where terrorists have been receiving both textbook and tactical training; however, confessions by captured terrorists underline that Greek camps were used by the terrorist gang, in particular to train urban death squads.
Q: What other organizations does the PKK have in Greek territory?
A: In contrast to other European countries, Greece does not consider the PKK a terrorist organization. Front organizations of the separatist gang have been given permission by Greek authorities to establish themselves and function in all major cities of Greece. Greek security even tolerated efforts by these terrorist gang organizations to collect donations (!) and organize “cultural nights” in order to raise funds for the separatist gang. On April 30, 1998 Greece allowed the establishment of the “PKK Representation of the Balkans.” This was the first time that the PKK had opened an official representation in any country under its own name.
Q: Was Greek support to the PKK limited to these?
A: No. After Ocalan left Syria, he was in Russia for a brief period. When Russia, under Turkish and American pressure, placed him on board an Aeroflot flight and sent him to Rome, Greece was one of the first countries to voice sympathy for the “Kurdish cause,” while still refusing to condemn the PKK, and campaigned for the convening of an international conference to discuss the so-called “Kurdish question.”
Q: When did Greece start supporting the PKK?
A: Greek support for the PKK dates back to late 1980s. It had previously supported yet another anti-Turkish gang, the notorious terrorist group, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). Interestingly enough, Syria as well was supporting ASALA.
Q: Was sheltering Ocalan the sole Greek support for the PKK?
A: No. Greece has been providing facilities to the PKK on its soil in the form of shelter as well as training and logistics for its activities aimed
at destabilizing and dividing Turkey. It has been known for some time that retired Greek officers have been training PKK members both in Greece and abroad. Although Greece has categorically been denying this fact, it was noted that in the latest Ocalan episode one of the key players of the fiasco was a former Greek
naval commander, retired Adm. Andonis Naxakis.
In addition to the support of the Greek military, parliamentarians –
mainly from the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Party (PASOK) of Prime Minister Costas Simitis — have been maintaining close links with the group. Several Greek parliamentarians have visited Ocalan, either in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley or in Damascus, Syria. These visits became public when pro-Kurdish newspapers and magazines published photographs and stories of these contacts.
When Turkey forced Syria to get Ocalan out of its territory four months ago, Greek parliamentarians publicly invited the separatist leader to take “refuge” in Greece.
In addition to Ocalan, many Kurdish outlaws whom Turkey placed on Interpol’s Red List have been freely organizing gatherings in Greece and have been meeting with Greek government officials.
Q: Who orchestrated the latest diplomatic fiasco?
A: Statements by Theodoros Pangalos, the foreign minister who was forced by Prime Minister Simitis to resign, indicate that the Greek Foreign Ministry and Intelligence Agency were the masters behind the fiasco.
Q: What are they accused of?
A: Allowing Ocalan to unobtrusively enter Greece many times. Hosting him at the Greek ambassadorial residence in Nairobi, Kenya. Failing to provide Ocalan a secure place. Handing him to Kenyan (or Turkish) intelligence.
Q: Wasn’t Simitis involved?
A: According to Pangalos, he acted on instructions from Simitis.
Q: Why were Pangalos and two other ministers forced by Prime Minister Simitis to resign?
A: In the hopes of surviving the aftershocks of the fiasco.