A Turkish-origin Norwegian citizen who was conducting activities in Norway on behalf of the PKK terrorist organization was arrested Saturday after his capture in a counter-terrorism operation in eastern Turkey’s Bingöl province.
The suspect, identified as 55-year-old A.A. who adopted the name Roger Carlsen after obtaining Norwegian citizenship, was detained in the Solhan district on Wednesday during the operation conducted jointly by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the provincial security directorate.
Police also seized various documents belonging to the terrorist organization in the raid.
Carlsen was later arrested by a Turkish court on Saturday.
The PKK has long used European countries, where significant Turkish and Kurdish diaspora communities are present, to bolster its financial resources, recruitment and as a safe haven for its leadership. Despite benefiting from freedom in Europe, the terrorists also do not refrain from attacking European cities and institutions, along with Turks living in Europe.
The terrorist group controls a significant portion of illegal drugs and arms trade in Europe.
Turkey has long criticized European governments’ reluctance in preventing PKK activities in Europe. PKK sympathizers regularly gather in city centers, hold marches and demonstrations, conduct propaganda activities and display banners.
Formed in 1978, the PKK terrorist group has been fighting the Turkish government for an independent state but switched its demands to autonomy in early 2000s. This terror campaign has caused the deaths of more than 40,000 people.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. The PKK resumed its decades-old campaign in July 2015 after a three-year reconciliation period and since then more than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.