The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) have captured a Turkish spy whom they claim is responsible for orchestrating the planned killing of Kurdish prisoners Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er, Roj News reported on Saturday.
The prisoners, Dağ and Er, are being held in a prison controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). They were accused of involvement in the assassination of another Turkish spy in 2019. On 17 July 2019, an armed attack was carried out against Osman Köse, a member of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT), who was stationed at the Turkish Embassy in Erbil (Hewlêr), KRI. Dağ and Er were arrested as the perpetrators of the attack, given the death penalty and subsequently imprisoned in a KDP-controlled facility in Erbil.
The KCK expressed concerns in a statement issued on Friday about the well-being of Dağ and Er, who have been on a hunger strike for 52 days to protest the KDP’s policies, which the Kurdish umbrella organisation views as being pro-Turkish government and hostile to the Kurdish liberation movement. However, the statement included a crucial detail according to Roj News: the Kurdish umbrella organisation had conducted an operation against local collaborators of MİT, resulting in the capture of a spy named Yasin Ali Hıdır, who was assigned to assassinate Dağ and Er in prison.
“The Turkish state has a plan to murder Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er in prison. MİT has recruited agents in the prison to carry out the murder, and they intend to execute this massacre with their assistance. Some of the agents spying for MİT and assigned to this massacre were captured by our forces. One of them is a spy named Yasin Ali Hıdır. This individual had previously worked as a prison director. He was tasked by MİT to organise certain prisoners within the facility to carry out this massacre and was promised a large sum of money for his involvement,” the statement read, according to Roj News.
The KCK declared that the KDP would be accountable for any developments against the prisoners and urged the public to be aware of this responsibility.
The organisation also warned about the circulation of false information about both prisoners and provided the following information: “Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er have no direct connection to the shooting of an MİT member in Hewlêr [the crime they had been sentenced for] and did not participate in that action; they merely provided assistance to their comrades who carried out the attack. The individuals who carried out the attack are currently on duty. However, in public opinion, Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er are incorrectly perceived as ‘two patriots who shot a member of the National Intelligence Organisation.’ This misinformation has also been perpetuated by some of our organisations.”
Detailed information regarding the KCK’s operation against Yasin Ali Hıdır is currently unavailable. The public disclosure of Hıdır’s arrest by the KCK marks the first time this information has been shared.
In Iraq, the death penalty requires approval from the president, which has not been granted in the case of Er and Dağ. Additionally, the duo has not been extradited to Turkey as requested by the Turkish government. The alleged conspiracy surrounding their harsh prison conditions and the attempted assassination in prison arises from the fact that the Iraqi government has not complied with Turkey’s demands.