Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is building a relationship with the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to a Turkish intelligence report.
Delegations from the PKK have visited Cairo at least three times since December 2015 with the first connection mediated by Baghdad, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
While visiting Baghdad in mid-December, a PKK delegation obtained visas from the Egyptian Embassy in the Iraqi capital and travelled on them to Cairo.
On a second visit in January 2016, “A more authorized PKK delegation went to Cairo and met with some high-level officials from the Egyptian intelligence service,” reads the intelligence report. “Egypt gave the message that it could support the PKK for the first time in this meeting.”
Cairo allegedly gave the PKK delegation funds and weapons after the second meeting, the report adds.
A third meeting took place in April. The report said that seven PKK representatives attended the meeting, including, “Mustafa Karasu, an Executive Committee member of the KCK [Group of Communities in Kurdistan]; Gülüşan Eksen (Fatma Adır); Seyithan Ayaz (Demgat Agit), who is responsible for the KCK’s foreign relations; Velid Halil (Aldar), someone with the code name Azad and two others who could not be identified.”
The KCK was founded by the PKK and is an umbrella organization of parties dedicated to Abdullah Ocalan’s ideas of democratic confederalism.
According to the report, in the April meeting the PKK delegation agreed to gather intelligence on Muslim Brotherhood members in Turkey and would take action against members “if necessary.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and an outspoken opponent of Sisi.
In May 2015, Erdogan declared, “For me, Morsi is Egypt’s president, not Sisi,” referring to Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president and member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was ousted in a 2013 coup led by Sisi, who Erdogan has called an “illegitimate tyrant.”
The rapprochement between the PKK and Sisi’s government may, therefore, be a case of my enemy’s enemy is my friend.
It may have also led to the Sisi government granting approval for the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to open an office in Egypt’s capital, the intelligence report indicated.